Spring Rescue? Call for Advice First

Suzy Hopkins
By Suzy Hopkins March 15, 2010 17:44

A 4-week-old squirrel napping

A songbird chick tumbles from its nest. A baby squirrel writhes helplessly on the ground. A fawn nestles in grass, no doe in sight. What’s an animal lover to do?

Call (209) 484-1928, or 532-5529 (8am-noon weekdays only), says wildlife rehab expert Nina Huff. Rose Wolf volunteers will ask questions: Where was it found, what does it look like, what condition is it in?

“We’ll instruct you on how to handle it until we can help,” Huff says. If you must pick up an orphaned or injured animal, don’t feed it, she cautions, “just keep it warm and comfortable and get it to us.”

People often think lone fawns have been abandoned, but Huff says the doe is usually nearby. An exception: when the mother has been killed by a car, and the fawn – which needs mother’s milk for several months – is left behind.

“We tell people to pick it up so it doesn’t run in the road and get killed, put it in a warm place and keep it quiet. No baby bottles or food – cow’s milk will kill them,” says Huff, who has seen fawns die from such feedings.

“People’s intentions are really good,” she notes, “but their intentions aren’t based on knowledge of what the animals need to survive. That’s why we’re here. We have wonderful, trained volunteers who can help, so please call first.”

© 2010, Friends and Neighbors Magazine

Suzy Hopkins
By Suzy Hopkins March 15, 2010 17:44
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