‘Tis the season for babies!
Spring is in the air! Or, at least it WAS! Regardless of what the temperature seems to indicate, spring is here and with it, follows the arrival of animal babies.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of awe and wonder that happens around babies of ANY species! It is human nature to be captivated by and drawn to new life, and that human nature is exactly what keeps the Northwoods Wildlife Center intensely busy in the spring of each year.
The Center fields calls almost daily in the springtime about “orphaned” wildlife. People are kind and caring, and the sight of a helpless newborn sends many into action mode hoping to save the young life. As well-intentioned as the action may be, the fact is that most “orphaned” babies are not orphaned at all! For example, a new-born fawn will appear to be lying alone in the woods, but its mother is nearby. Perhaps she is foraging for food, but she also stays at a distance because a deer has scent, but a newborn fawn does not. Her distance draws predators away from her baby.
So how do you know if a baby animal needs your help? Call the Northwoods Wildlife Center at (715) 356-7400. A licensed rehabilitator will help you determine the right course of action for the situation.
“Unless the infant is hurt or we know the adult is dead, we will do whatever we can to reunite the infant with its mother. There is no perfect substitute for maternal care,” says Mike Zielinski, a licensed rehabilitator at the Center. “We will intervene when necessary, of course, but the most desirable outcome for any infant, is to be with its mother.”
Sometimes it is not possible to reunite the infant and parent. This little brother/sister pair of squirrels (pictured above) were tucked safely and securely one moment in their tree nest 40 feet above the ground, and in the next moment were blown out in a gust of wind. They landed with remnants of their nest, beneath the tree that was their home. In this instance, after a fall of that height, human intervention was warranted. The male sustained numerous small cuts and abrasions and one large wound to his chest area which received 5 stitches. The female sustained numerous small cuts, as well. In this case, a licensed rehabilitator is the infants best chance for survival.
The Northwoods Wildlife Center offers this advice for the coming spring season: Be observant as you rake and mow your lawns and clean debris from your gardens. Many small animals have their babies in ground nests and can easily be disrupted, injured or killed by these common spring activities. As always, if you have any questions about a wildlife situation you’ve encountered, call the Northwoods Wildlife Center for help at (715) 356-7400.
The Northwoods Wildlife Center is located in Minocqua on Hwy 70 West across from Trigs and next to the Northwoods Animal Hospital. The Center is a not-for profit 501c3 organization.