Monday, April 09, 2007

Spring wildlife

From Newsweek's Karen Springen: Spring is birthing season for baby animals. What should you do when you come across newborn squirrels, raccoons, and skunks under your deck or in your attic? It's likely that their moms moved there to find a private spot to give birth.

If you can, wait until the babies are 6 to 8 weeks old. Then, rather than move the animals yourself, make their moms want to relocate by blasting rock and roll and keeping lights on, says Laura Simon, field director of urban wildlife for the Humane Society of the United States (

Don't assume solo babies are orphans. Mothers of bunnies and deer visit their little ones only a couple of times a day. "People will take a wild animal away from its mother without meaning to," says Simon. Don't feed them anything. They can't digest cows' milk and lettuce.

If you're sure the babies are motherless, call your local nature center or an animal shelter to find a "wildlife rehabilitator"--a volunteer licensed by the state fish and game agency to take in injured and orphaned wild animals.