People with good intentions accidentally kill a lot of baby animals. Please make sure you don’t contribute to this problem this baby season if you come across a baby animal in need!
Orphaned animals are almost always hypothermic and dehydrated after hours or days without their mothers’ care. When they’re in that state, they can’t digest solid food, including the solids found naturally in their mothers’ milk. Babies fed before they have been medically stabilized end up criticallly ill and often don’t survive, despite our best efforts.
This is especially bad when people unknowingly give inappropriate food, like cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or human breast milk to orphans. Levels of fat, lactose, and protein in milk vary so much by species that it can be a huge shock to a baby’s system when given the wrong thing. This is especially true when the animal is already in very bad condition due to being orphaned.
If you find a baby animal and are certain that it is an orphan, please keep it warm and put it somewhere quiet while you find a rehabilitator. As tempting as it may be to feed the hungry critter, that can cause a lot of harm.