Orphans in the Wild
DNR QUESTION OF THE WEEK – April 8
Q: Spring is the time when wildlife babies are born. What should people do if they find what appears to be an abandoned wildlife baby, or see a baby bird that fell out of its nest?
A: The arrival of spring also means the arrival of newborns and just-hatched wildlife. These youngsters soon venture into the world on shaky legs or fragile wings. All too often, well-meaning people pick up animals, particularly white-tailed deer fawns and young birds, believing that these animals have been orphaned or abandoned and need to be saved. This is almost never the case, because the parents are usually waiting nearby. In fact, a would-be rescuer is causing more harm than good to the young animal. Those early unsteady steps and flights are part of normal development, helping the young learn how to care for themselves. So, it’s important for people to remember that wild animals belong in the wild. If you care – leave them there!
– Lori Naumann, DNR Nongame Wildlife Program