Tips for dealing with new generation of wild and orphaned
Posted April 10,
Press Release - Spring is the busiest time of
year at Procyon Wildlife (pronounced PRO-see-on). Not only are we
inundated with orphaned animals, but we are swamped with phone calls
from people who have found animals and don't know what to do with them.
Sometimes animals that are thought to be orphans are actually waiting
for their mother to return to them. Such is the case with rabbits
and fawns whose mothers leave for long periods of time, cautioning
their young to hide quietly.
If you find a fawn tucked away in the dense grass it's probably waiting
for its mother. However, if it's walking around alone, especially if
it's crying, then it's probably an orphan.
Orphaned mammals may appear thin and may cry loudly if their mothers
have been gone a long time. If you're not 100 per cent certain that an
animal is an orphan, the best thing to do is to find the nest and
return the baby to it. If a nest can't be found, the baby can be placed
in a box, kept warm with towels and a hot water bottle, and placed
close to where it was found. If the mother doesn't return in a few
hours, you should call a wildlife centre.
If an animal is obviously injured (you can see an open wound or a
broken wing or leg) it will require medical attention and should be
brought to a wildlife centre.
Young birds are often on the ground because they have jumped out of the
nest and are learning to fly. They are not orphans; they are fledglings
and their parents feed them on the ground until they fly away. Watch
them from a distance and if no parent is seen within a few hours, call
a wildlife rehabilitator.
You may put the bird on a branch to protect it from cats or keep your
pets inside until the bird is safe. Nestlings however, lack feathers
and should not be out of the nest. Return them to the nest if possible.
If that's not possible call a wildlife centre.
If an animal has taken up residence in your home (attic, garage, porch,
etc) the best way to convince them to leave is to make the den
undesirable. Mother animals prefer a warm, quiet, dark place to have
their young. If you can't wait until the babies are old enough to leave
the nest on their own, you can encourage mom to move them to her
secondary den. Simply place a light and a radio - tuned to a talk
station on low to medium volume - in the area of the den and
wait. It may take several days for the mother to move all of her
babies, so please be patient. When you are absolutely certain they are
all gone, seal the entrance to the den to prevent another animal from
If you have a wildlife situation and are not sure what to do, call us.
We're here to help you. It's important to remember that a baby's
best chance for survival is with its mother.
Wildlife is a registered charity operating solely on donations
and staffed by volunteers. It's located at 6441 7th Line Beeton Creek Conservation Area. For more information, please go to http://www.procyonwildlife.com
or call 905-729-0033.