As spring storm increases number of injured and abandoned baby animals, experts advise assisting them with caution – Boulder Daily Camera


After heavy snowfall on Friday, county residents reported finding injured and stranded baby animals, such as a family of ducklings whose mother was spooked by snow falling from a bush, and baby rabbits whose nests had been flooded, washed away or caught in storm drains.

The hazards produced by the storm posed risks to the common baby animal population surge in late spring. Mysti Tatro, community relations coordinator for the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, said the increase in reports and rescues has been strong, with dozens taken on the day of the storm and in the days that followed.

“I would say there was a slight increase in the storm,” Tatro said.

Monday mid-morning, the center was already expected to accommodate more rescues than Thursday, the day before the storm.

Tatro noted that we are entering the peak of the season for ducklings, goslings and other hatched and born baby animals.

“It’s really just baby central here,” Tatro said. “Later in the spring, we start seeing raccoons hatching, hatching birds and waterfowl as well. It really happens all of a sudden.”

Tatro advised those who find potentially injured or stranded babies to call the rehabilitation center before moving the animals. Jennie Whittle, head of animal management for the Boulder Police Department, said the best course of action for those who find abandoned or injured babies is to contact experts and avoid touching or directly feeding the baby. wildlife.

“At the end of the day, it’s best to just…call animal protection since we have the experience and professional handling skills for different animal behaviors and health,” Whittle said.

Ducklings are seen under heated lights at the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Lyon on Monday. (Matthew Jonas/staff photographer)

Whittle noted that some animals may look abandoned but actually have relatives nearby, such as baby birds, whose mothers often perch in trees to watch their babies learn to fly from the ground. In other cases, Whittle said, it may be appropriate to carefully move baby animals directly in danger, such as baby birds in the middle of busy roads or parks.

“You can pick them up with a dustpan or a small shoebox,” Whittle said. She advised never to come into direct contact with baby animals and to use a towel or glove if necessary.

Ultimately, Whittle and Tatro said their goal is to keep baby animals with their parents or, for orphaned animals, to release them safely into the wild.

“It’s our job as animal welfare to sort through and see if it’s a good option to try to reunite them with their parents,” Whittle said. “That’s always the goal. No human is ever as good as the animal parent.


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