It’s baby animal season in Darien — be cautious
It is the height of the season when animals have young and birds hatch eggs, and with coronavirus keeping many at home, it is more important than ever to be cautious in nature.
Many are keeping busy walking, running, taking road trips or improving their yards. However, sometimes overzealous yard work can disturb nesting animals or mothers caring for their young.
Wildlife in Crisis in Redding routinely shares photos of baby animals orphaned when their parents are hit by cars or disturbed by yard work.
“These baby bunnies were orphaned when landscapers blew their nest away with a leaf blower. It was nestled beside a wood pile, covered with bits of dried grass and fur. They were brought to WIC for care and are now nestled in one of our incubators safe and warm,” they recently posted.
“This is a good time to reflect about the impact that each of us is having on planet earth. Naturescape your yard, so that it can be a refuge for wildlife rather than a dead zone. Let part of your lawn grow into a meadow. When you hire landscapers please tell them to be careful with your property and to take care not to uproot and kill the living beings huddled under “debris,” they wrote.
Don’t rescue “orphans”
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection encourages those who encounter young animals who appear orphaned leave them be.
“It is normal for many animals to leave their young alone for long periods of time, so your help may not be needed. In all likelihood, the adult is nearby watching and waiting to return,” the department has on its website.
“Connecticut’s authorized wildlife rehabilitators care for more than 11,000 animals each year,” said DEEP Wildlife Division biologist Laurie Fortin. “Most of these are young wild animals that were brought in by well-intentioned individuals. However, many did not need to be rescued.”
DEEP also discourages private citizens from keeping wild animals as pets.
Nina Miller of the Darien Nature Center has advised in the past that spring is the time of year where baby animals will often be encountered — including some that might appear abandoned.
If it appears injured, she advises to go to Connecticut Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and find the list of licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators. Keep the list handy and give one a call. Please don’t drop off orphaned or injured wildlife at the doorstep of a Veterinary or Nature Center building. They are then easy prey for other animals.
“Depending on the situation, you may be advised to try the best strategy and that is to reunite the babies with the mom, even if she is not within sight at the moment. Wear gloves when touching wild baby animals. Keep dogs and cats away. If reuniting doesn’t work, call the rehabber back and she/he can tell you where to bring the baby. Be prepared to answer pertinent questions as the state requires good records be kept by all rehabbers,” she said.
Please visit the Darien Nature Center’s Website for more information.