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Care of Wild Animal Babies

 What is the best way to help wild animal babies?  By NOT helping them. Every spring and early summer, wildlife agencies across the country are deluged by calls from well meaning people who have picked up what they think are "orphaned" baby animals.  According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), the best way to help young wildlife is to NOT help young wildlife.

  Many types of wild animals leave their young in a protected area while the adults go off to feed and drink.  Unless the adults have died, the young are not orphaned or abandoned at all.  If humans pick up an animal, it may be rejected by the parent due to the human scent left on the baby.  In addition, it is against state law to take animals from the wild and keep them in captivity in Tennessee.

  If a baby bird or mammal is found outside of a nest, concerned individuals can help by returning it to the nest.  It may be accepted back by the parent. Although it may seem cruel, in nature the most hazardous time of life is adolescence.

 Young animals die at a very high rate.  The best help you can provide for a young animal is to leave it alone.  If its parents are temporarily away, they will return.  If it has been abandoned, nature needs to take its course. Raising a wild animal in the confines of a cage is no life for one that deserves to be free.