Orphaned Wildlife

I woke up this morning to my radio saying that it was going to be 92 degrees today. The warmer days (that I so love) mean that new wildlife is born every day. Baby geese are waddling after their mom at the local golf course, baby bunnies are peeking out of the bushes to brave the new world, and little quail are scampering in single file as fast as their little legs will go.

Being the animal lover that I am there is nothing cuter than baby animals and if I see one in distress or abandoned, my natural instinct is to help. At this time of year, Nevada Humane Society’s Animal Help Desk is flooded with calls regarding orphaned or injured baby birds and baby bunnies. But what appears to be distress or abandonment is not always the real case.

If you find an uninjured, young bird, first determine whether or not it is really an orphaned bird and if it is a nestling or a fledgling. Most are just young fledglings that can’t fly well but are still being monitored and fed by their parents. If a baby bird is able to grip your finger firmly, it is a fledgling. The best thing to do is to place it in a nearby tree or shrub and leave it alone and the parents will take care of the rest.

If it’s not able to cling to your finger, than it’s most likely a nestling. Try to locate the nest and place the bird back in the nest. If the nest cannot be found, line a margarine tub with tissue/leaves and tie it to a tree. Place the young bird in the new nest and leave it alone. The parents will take care of him from there.

Many people mean well after discovering an “abandoned” nest of wild rabbits. Often they want advice on how to rehabilitate them. Fewer than 10% of orphaned rabbits survive a week so the best thing you can do is put the bunny right back where you found him, as mom will only come back at dusk. A baby bunny that is four to five inches long, able to hop, with eyes open and ears up, is able to survive on his own and should also be left alone.

Please remember:  A baby bird’s or rabbit’s best chance for survival is its parents!

For more information, please contact the Nevada Humane Society’s Animal Help Desk at animalhelp@nevadahumanesociety.org or 775-856-2000 ext. 200.

Events that Help Homeless Pets.

Walk for Animals June 2 at Sparks Marina. Help raise $100,000 for homeless pets. You do not need to be pre-registered. Event registration is 8am – 12 noon. Walk and other activities are from 9am to 1pm. More info available at 775-856-2000 or www.NevadaHumaneSociety.org.

June is CAT MOB at Nevada Humane Society. You can Pick Your Price for adult cats and get a free Cat Mob T-shirt. Adult dogs are just $40, excluding specially priced dogs. NHS shelter located at 2825 Longley Lane in Reno.

2012 Paris Style Charity Fashion Show on June 9 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Peppermill Hotel Casino. Proceeds will benefit Nevada Humane Society.

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