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Orphan Babies and Injured Wildlife
Published: January 04, 2010

As more people build homes in suburban areas, there is a greater chance folks will come into contact with wildlife, especially in spring when many animals have babies. It is human nature to want to help when we find a baby animal alone. However, in almost all cases, helping is not a good idea. Just because the baby is alone does not mean the mother is not nearby or returning; most wildlife do not routinely abandon their young. You can try to put a baby bird back in the nest but in most cases, it is impossible to raise these wild babies yourself and they have a better chance of surviving if you leave them alone.

If you do find a baby alone and you have rescued it, you must call a person licensed by the state as a wildlife rescue specialist. These wildlife rescue specialists have a much greater chance of saving the baby than you will because they know how to do it. Also, it is illegal for private citizens to own wild animals and so contacting a wildlife rescue specialist is really important. To find a specialist in your area, contact your local veterinarian or game warden and they usually will be able to help you.

By keeping a wild animal, you also could jeopardize your family's health as many of these animals can carry diseases transmissible to humans. Rabies is common in wild animals and these animals may commonly bite due to fear or pain. If you are bitten by a wild animal, it is critical that you try to keep an eye on the animal and call for help. If the wild animal cannot be caught and tested for rabies, you will be required to take rabies vaccinations. So in the long run, stay away from wild animals and if you do find one in need of help, call a wildlife rehabilitator.

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