Beyond Your Backyard - Spring Awareness

By Kimberly J. Epp

Spring is on its way. With the warming temperatures, we may want to head out to explore. Often we may run into wildlife, and even wild young. Please view them from a distance. Give them the space they need. Do not frighten them. Be aware that we share our space with them, and their habitats are getting smaller because of us.

Most mammal mothers will leave their young alone as they forage for food. They are never very far away though. The lone baby porcupine (porcupette) is left hanging in the tree limbs. It isn't defenseless as it has quills as well. The quills harden one hour after birth.The female doe will lick her fawn(s) scentless and then hide her so she is camouflaged among the long grasses. Leave them there!

Unfortunately too many young mammals thought to be orphaned, are brought to local rehabbers every year. If you remember where you found the baby animal, you can quickly return it, but most are brought to be cared for by the rehabbers. The majority of "orphaned" young brought in to rehabbers aren't really orphaned. They may have simply crawled out of their den, or their mother may have been off foraging. Mammal mothers often leave their young unattended for short periods of time for foraging.

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On the same note, If you see a young bird that has fallen out of its nest, also leave it be. Unless it has no feathers - in that case, use a ladder and place it back into the nest. The mother will still accept it despite your holding it. As for the other young birds, they are learning to fly. This is a process every young bird goes through. The parents still feed the fledglings on the ground.

So unless there is an obvious need for intervention, it is a good idea to first call The Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of SK @ 306-242-7177. You will be referred to a rehabber in your area. Remember; IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE!

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