Think twice before attempting to rescue young wildlife

AVMA encourages people to leave young wildlife alone.
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Apr 30, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

Ah, spring is in the air, and as people head outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather, many will come across young wildlife. Thinking that these adorable, seemingly helpless little creatures have been abandoned, some well-intentioned people may pluck these animals from forest floors and bring them home—you may even be tempted to do so yourself.

Unfortunately, this may actually create a problem where one did not exist. In a podcast, the AVMA explains why it’s usually best to leave young wildlife alone, even if it appears to be abandoned.

In AVMA’s latest Animal Tracks podcast, Dr. Peregrine Wolff, a veterinarian with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and secretary of the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, talks about what to do when encountering young wildlife. Specifically, she addresses the following questions:

  • If I find a young wild animal all alone, what should I do?
  • How do I know if the animal is actually injured or abandoned?
  • What are some of the dangers of trying to raise a young animal on my own?
  • Is it true that if I touch the baby its mother will not come back for it?
  • If I already have the baby animal with me at home, what should I do and who should I contact?

To access the podcast, click here.