Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Fri, Jan. 24

Don't interfere with baby wildlife (Letter)

Ah, yes, spring is in the air. It's that time of year we once again see warmer weather, blooming flowers, buzzing insects and baby wildlife.

But, does that baby really need your help?

Unlike our domestic pets, wildlife rarely need our help when it comes to raising their young, and in most instances, it is best not to interfere.

For many wildlife species such as rabbits, deer, elk and pronghorn, the young are often hidden alone in nests or tall grasses for most of the day to avoid attracting predators.

Don't worry, mom is often nearby, keeping a close eye on her young and visits throughout the day to feed and care for them.

Baby rabbits, known as kits, are typically left alone for a large portion of the day. The doe (female rabbit) only visits once or twice a day for a few minutes to feed and clean her kits - this is normal behavior.

Often, when young wildlife are removed from the wild, their chances of survival are slim, since humans can only emulate the necessary care needed for them to grow and flourish. In addition, young wildlife may become imprinted on their human caretakers, which further complicates their survival and severely limits their ability to be released back into the wild.

There are some instances where baby birds can accidentally fall from a nest and can safely be placed back into it.

Birds do not reject their young after they have been handled by a human. If the bird appears too young to survive on its own, it may need some assistance, but only after a careful assessment of the situation.

When in doubt, it is best to leave wild babies alone. If wildlife may need help, contact your game and fish department, veterinarian, or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator when seeking advice.

Stacie Grannum


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