Tips to keep in mind as Spring brings baby animals to backyardsApr 15, 2023 12:44PM ● By Cristi Mc Kee
Spring has sprung, and that means that animal births are in full swing!
From fledglings learning to fly to baby raccoons learning to climb trees, there are many instances in which you may encounter baby animals that you may want to “rescue,” pet, or even keep.
It’s important to remember how to deal with finding young animals in the wild - which may be in your backyard - and what to do and what not to do with them.
Keep these tips in mind as this season approaches:
Generally, leave “abandoned” animals alone - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is very clear about what to do if you find an “abandoned” baby animal. According to FWC, “Generally, if you find a baby animal it is best to leave it alone. Rarely are animals actually orphaned; the parent may be searching for food or observing its young from a distance.”
Don’t pick animals up - Picking up young animals can be harmful to their development.”Do not pick up baby animals or remove them from their natural environment,” FWC warns.
Don’t keep wild animals - Per FWC, it’s actually illegal to keep wild animals that you may find and want to keep if you think they’re injured or orphaned: “Keeping any sick, injured, orphaned, or otherwise impaired wildlife beyond the time necessary to transport to a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator is a violation of Florida law.”
FWC suggests that if you come across wildlife that you think could be abandoned or even injured, you should contact a local Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator.
You can call your local FWC Regional Office at (850) 488-3831 for assistance if you need more details on who to call.