No one likes to see a young animal or bird alone without its parent. Many concerned people call believing they have found young wild animals or birds that have been abandoned by their parents or are concerned for the safety of the animals. However, it is more likely the parent is out searching for food or people have frightened the parent away.
Unless the parent is found dead nearby, it is most probable that the adult will return to the baby as soon as people are not around. The RHS understands that people are concerned about the animals and bring them into shelter with the best of intentions, however doing so may prove deadly for the young animal once it is separated from its parent. While young birds and animals may be cute, it is best to leave them where they are.
The RHS advises the public who encounter baby wildlife to keep the following in mind:
- If a young bird has fallen out of the nest, you may return it to the nest if it is immediate danger, but it is best to leave it alone. The mother will not reject the baby because you have touched it and babies usually fall out of the nest as a natural part of learning to fly;
- If you find a young hare with no obvious injuries, leave it alone or put it back where it was found because the mother is nearby and will return once you leave. She will not reject it because you touched it;
- Most young wild animals do very poorly in captivity. The best chance for their survival is to be reunited with their mother;
- It is especially important to avoid contact with young raccoons and skunks because they can be carriers of rabies and parasites;
- It is against the law to keep a wild animal.
We also receive calls in the spring about geese and other birds nesting in unusual places such as parking lots, fields or alleys. Unless the bird is injured, it is best to leave it be. While the location of the nest may seem unusual to us, they have chosen it based on their natural instincts and will very likely be just fine if left alone.
If you are concerned about a young wild animal and an adult animal has not been seen for several days or the animal is injured, contact your local conservation officer or the Wascana Centre Authority, if within the park, for assistance.
There is almost never a good reason to remove a young wild animal from its natural environment.