Spring Babies

The main goal of the BACK TO THE WILD® wildlife rehabilitation center is to return recovered wildlife back into the wild. This goal is accomplished by capturing and transporting an injured, orphaned or displaced animal to the center; performing a physical exam to determine its injuries; nursing it back to health through medical treatment, correct diet and housing; conditioning it for release; and finally, releasing the animal into a suitable habitat. There are many things to consider before a wild animal can be safely released.

In the spring, many animals establish their nesting and hunting territories and their young are born. This is an extremely vulnerable time for young animals and their parents. Predators abound and severe weather conditions take their toll. This is the nature's plan and a healthy balance will exist in the natural world through Predator/Prey relationships. However, human carelessness destroys this balance when our irresponsible destruction and alteration of habitats everywhere, make it nearly impossible for wild animals to thrive. We have a moral obligation to learn to co-exist with these very important creatures with whom we share the earth. The presence of healthy wild animal populations serve as environmental indicators for humans to monitor the health of an ecosystem. The quality of human life depends directly on the presence of a balanced ecosystem of plant and animal communities.

Orphaned opossum babies brought to BACK TO THE WILD®.

Through Education, BACK TO THE WILD® can prevent many baby animals from being mistakenly "rescued". Literally, hundreds of songbirds, bunnies, ducklings, squirrels, opossums, skunks, raccoons and fawns are brought in that should not have been captured. This is an opportunity to help the public understand the ways of the wild. Many rescuers mean well, but are misinformed through myths and old wive's tales. Baby animals CAN be reunited with their parents, even if they have been touched and fed by humans. This must be done quickly, within hours or a day or two. Mother mammals are devoted to their young and will defend and reclaim them if given the chance. Even featherless, baby birds can be placed back into nests and will continue to be fed by their parents. Often, birds and mammals of the same species will accept young that are not their own, and will feed and raise them. This is a great option to prevent a wild animal from being raised by humans, and is in the best interest of the animal.

If you are unsure about what to do, please consult this web page for advice if you have found an apparent injured or orphaned animal.

Baby birds, who have just fledged, are unable to fly for the first few days and will hop around on the ground hiding under shrubs, plants, and even cars. Mother birds know where their babies are and will continue to bring food to them until they can fly. This is a time when pet cats and dogs need to be contained or kept indoors. Literally million of baby birds and mammals die each day in the United States alone, to roaming cats and dogs, who are not part of the natural food chain. Be a responsible pet owner and help to protect spring wildlife!

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BACK TO THE WILD® wildlife rehabilitation center in Castalia, Ohio.

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This was last modified on November 4, 2005.

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