Imprinting on a wild baby can be devastating to them.
During the spring and summer months, Moose Javians will likely see plenty of wildlife venture into the city. While feeding or re-locating young animals might feel like the right thing to do, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan said it only makes it harder on the baby.
Bonnie Dell, Co-President of the WRSOS, said even a single interaction can have repercussions. Next to handling the animal, feeding them is often thought of as a good idea, but Dell said it's best to avoid them all together.
"Never feed them, never ever. If you find an injured or orphaned wildlife baby, first thing you should do is make sure it really is injured or orphaned before you interact. Depending on the species, you can either call a conservation officer, and normally if it's a smaller animal like a porcupine or a skunk they'll call us. Otherwise phone us 306-242-7177. That's the wildlife emergency hotline, and we will advise and do what we can to bring the animal into care to a licensed rehabilitator."
Dell said it's best to just call a professional. The more an animal is handled, the more they are imprinted by humans, and that can make it very difficult to reintroduce them into the wild.
"Do not move a fawn. If you're worried, call us. I just spent 5 nights out in the bush with a fawn trying to find a new mother for it. It's mother had been hit by a car, and we were out every night at dusk doing a fawn distress call to try to lure in a mom that was lactating or maybe lost her baby. And it took 5 nights before we finally found a few deer that were willing to take on this fawn. So it's quite the process."
Close to 40 calls a day right come through, and Dell said a lot of those are about birds.
"Because the birds are fledgling right now. They spend 4 or 5 days on the ground with their parents looking after them before they learn how to fly. People are always sure that they're injured, but they aren't. And we're getting a lot of calls about baby animals. Lots of fox kits, skunks, porcupines are kind of past being babies now, but it's non stop."