Spring has Sprung

Article and images by Jen Howard

Read time: 3 minutes

Babies everywhere, turtles on the move, fawns coming into the world, and we are right in the middle of baby season.  Let me tell you how you can make it work so that we can all let moms, and dads depending on species, care for their little ones. It really isn’t that hard. Rehabilitation Centres everywhere are maxed out, some unable to admit more animals. We are one. Our volunteers are worn thin and to be honest, if we all work together, we can avoid babies being separated from their parents. Of course, injured or sick animals are a different story and we do our utmost to have some space available for them. 

Baby bunnies are being found by people’s dogs and cats. Then the worried rescuers call us wanting us to take them in, but most often their mothers are still there, so no, we can not take them in. Your job now is to get a laundry basket and cut an opening for mom to get in and out. She comes at dusk and dawn to feed her babies. Keep cats in, (they will get over it) and take dogs out on leash only. It’s not a long haul to save these innocent lives. Baby bunnies grow fast so at three weeks they are actually old enough to leave the nest and be on their own. Remember these are wild animals. Please do not touch them, baby bunnies and fawns can die of capture myopathy (stress). They do not want to be touched.

Fawns are being born now and you must also be mindful of the fact moms leave them curled up in what they think is a safe place.  She will come back and forth to feed, but will stay away to keep her baby safe from wild predators. Fawns and bunnies have no scent.

A fawn in distress will have curling ears due to dehydration, will look emaciated from lack of food and may be week and wandering, also crying non stop. I have included a photo. Please refer here for additional information: https://www.procyonwildlife.com/2024/05/26/signs-a-fawn-is-in-distress/

The Turtle nesting season is in full swing. From small turtles to great big old snappers. Please, only if its safe for you, if they are crossing a road help them out. Always in direction they are going. NEVER pick them up by their tail, that’s connected to their spine and it will cause severe damage to their vertebral column. For a Big snapper, grab the shell near back with one hand, slip other hand right under the plastron, (bottom shell).  Lift them across, they can not bite you in this position. Always wear gloves. Please always check a turtle if it has been hit. Always. They may be alive; a turtle can endure a hefty injury and still live.  If it has passed on, it may have viable eggs that can be extracted by the professionals and incubated, thus saving many lives. Take it in and call Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre at 705-741-5000.

For Baby birds call Shades of Hope 705-437-4654, taking them straight there is much less stress than us having to transfer. We are too busy to take baby birds. 

Always remember, if we accept an animal from you, when you transfer them in your vehicle, PLEASE, NO NOISE. A quiet ride is critical for their survival and is less stressful. If you use tape to secure a box, make sure you put a piece of paper between tape and box so the tape is not accessible to an animal inside.  And don’t forget the air holes.

Carrying an emergency wildlife kit in your car is a great idea. A Rubbermaid tote with holes in lid and sides at the top near rim. Latex gloves, work gloves, hand sanitizer, book and pen so you can write down location and about the incident. Always sanitize tote well between animals. Secure injured animal then call Procyon at: 905-729-0033. Leave one message and we will get back to you. Keep quiet and warm, NO food or water.

Let’s work together and save our precious wildlife!

Jen Howard

 Spring has Sprung
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