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What to do with wild animal foundlings

Wednesday, June 16th 2021, 1:43 pm - Found an orphaned or injured baby wild animal? Here's what to do

(dpa) - In those spring months, when many wild animals have babies, sometimes the newborns get lost and can't find their way back to their nest or den, and humans often don't know how to help.

"Whoever finds lost-looking wild animals during a walk through the fields or the woods right now is probably only facing an emergency in the rarest cases," says Jenier Calvi of the German foundation for wild animals.

Here are the most typical cases:

  • A leveret (young hare) or fawn (young deer) will usually duck into hollows or high grass to wait for its mother, who usually only comes by in the mornings and evenings to check on the youngsters. This is a strategy to confuse enemies: The mothers usually smudges the prints that could lead to their offspring. Calvi says: "In this case: Don't touch!"

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  • Wild cat kittens are often roaming their environment alone and mistaken for lost house cats. "Wild cats are often not distinguishable from house cats to the untrained eye. But if you see kittens playing in the forest, can usually assume they are not in danger," says Calvi.
  • Young birds often end up on the ground, noisily tweeting as if they need help, during their first flight attempts - but that doesn't mean they need to be rescued. The parents of the young chicks usually take care of them themselves. But if the chicks are naked babies, you can safely put them back into their nest, if you see it. "Bird parents are not bothered by human small," Calvi says.

Wild animals who are hurt, however, do need help. In those cases, you should alert a veterinarian, wild animal rescuer at a wild animal rescue station or a local gamekeeper. If there is imminent danger, the injured animal can be laid in a covered box until help arrives, Calvi says.

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