Mounds Warm Fuzzy – Wildlife

American Robin parent feeding worms to four babies in nest.

Born to Be Wild: If you care, leave them there!

Four Lakes Wildlife Center, the wild side of Dane County Humane Society, has seen an ENORMOUS increase in the number of wildlife admitted to their center in the last two years. Unfortunately, many of these animals would have done better if left in the wild.

Test your wildlife knowledge:
1) If a human scent is left on a wild baby animal their parents will abandon them.

False. This misinformation has been around for years, probably to discourage children from touching wildlife.

2) If you have watched a nest of baby rabbits for 3 days and have not seen the mother, you should bring the baby rabbits to a wildlife center.

False. Baby rabbits are normally left alone in their nest all day; you should not expect to see the mother. She returns briefly at dusk and dawn to feed the babies and then leaves again so she does not draw attention to them. Deer also leave their fawns alone in the grass for long periods of time during the day.

3) If you find a baby bird or squirrel on the ground, it needs to be rescued.

False. Young birds normally spend up to week on the ground before learning to fly. The parents will still feed and protect their
baby while it is on the ground. Also baby birds and squirrels that fall out of the nest are not necessarily orphaned. If they are uninjured, they should be returned to their nest. Look for clear signs of injury (i.e., holding one wing differently than other).

4) Check the internet if you have questions about what to do with wildlife.

False. Caring for wildlife requires appropriate license to ensure proper identification of species, age, potential injury and correct treatment. Small mistakes in any of these areas can be lethal to the animal.

How do you know when a wild animal needs help? Here are some signs to watch for.

• Bleeding or obviously injured. Be careful not assume that a young fledgling bird has an injured wing because he cannot fly. A bird with an injured wing will often hold the injured wing differently that the uninjured one.

• Heavily parasitized. Mother animal tend to keep their babies clean so animals that have a large number of fleas or ticks,
or are swarming with flies, have fly eggs (that look like tiny grains of rice) or maggots on their fur or feathers should be brought
in.

• A baby whose mother is known dead or whose mother is known to have been relocated.

• The wildlife has experienced known direct contact with a predator, especially domestic cats.

Please call Four Lakes Wild Life Center at 608-838-0413, ext 151, before taking any action to rescue wildlife. If you would like to
become part of their rescue and rehabilitation team, please e-mail wildlife@giveshelter.org.