Baby Wild Animals
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To: The Editor:
Spring has sprung, and baby animals are exploring their big new world. Here's what to do if you spot a baby animal:
- Wait and watch. Most baby birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and other animals don't need humans' help-their parents are usually nearby.
- Baby birds with a half-inch or more of tail feathers are good to go. Unless they're in obvious danger, don't put them back in the nest-they will only hop out again. If necessary, place the bird on the lowest limb of a small tree or shrub.
- If the baby is featherless, gently put him back in his nest (your scent won't keep his parents away). Can't reach the nest? Make one from a berry basket, kitchen strainer, or small plastic container with holes punched in the bottom. Line it with shredded tissue, and hang it in a sheltered spot near the original nest.
- Never try to tame baby animals or keep them as "pets." It's against the law in most places and unfair to the animal, who needs to be with and learn from others of his own kind.
- If you see any baby animal whose mother has been killed, call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Your local humane society can probably provide their phone numbers.
For more tips on living with wildlife, visit www.HelpingWildlife.com.
Stephanie L. Boyles, Wildlife Biologist
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