LETTER – WILD ORPHANS: TO RESCUE OR NOT?

In the spring, all wildlife species are searching for a place to nest and give birth to their young.  If you think you have wildlife living in your attic, crawlspace, under your deck, in your shed or other out-building this spring or summer, it is almost certainly a mother with her young. Across the United States and in other countries during the spring months, thousands of young wild animals will be picked up; some need to be rescued, some do not.

 

Licensed wildlife rehabilitators have the knowledge and experience to care for young wild animals that need help. They know how to raise them to be healthy and wild. When you find a wild animal you think is in need of help, it is best to call for advice so both you and the wild animal remain safe.

 

In New Jersey, wildlife rehabilitators care for more than 15,000 animals each year. Most of the wild animals are brought in by well-intentioned individuals, but many of these wild animals did not need to be rescued.

 

“It is illegal, as well as unwise, to keep wildlife as pets or even to try to raise young animals unless you are trained and have the proper permits from state and federal wildlife agencies,” said a representative of the New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators, an organization dedicated to the education and support of wildlife rehabilitators.

 

In this area, you can visit www.NJAWR.org for species specific wildlife advice and to find a wildlife rehabilitator near you. They can help the public determine if the wild animal in question needs to be rescued. Even with the best efforts of New Jersey’s licensed wildlife rehabilitators, there is no substitute for Mother Nature.