Don’t Give Breast Milk to Wild Animals

Yes, this is apparently necessary to say. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Every wildlife rehabilitator has at least one story about a baby animal that arrived critically sick after being fed human breast milk. And yes, some people have fed it right from the tap. 😳

Breast is best— as in, human breast milk is best for human babies, raccoon milk is best for raccoon babies, opossum milk is best for opossum babies,
cow’s milk is best for cow babies, and almond milk, presumably, is best for almond babies.

Each mammal’s milk has the exact ratio of fats, sugars, electrolytes, enzymes, bacteria, and proteins made for its own young. When the real deal isn’t an option for a baby of any species, the next-best thing is an appropriate formula, NOT the milk of another species!

There is no wild animal in North America that can thrive on human milk. Human milk is only one-quarter as concentrated as skunk milk, for example, and is too watery to meet their needs. Human breast milk contains only one tenth the amount of protein that a baby raccoon needs to survive, and it has twice the amount of lactose that baby opossums can tolerate. The result of the wrong milk can mean diarrhea, kidney failure, metabolic bone disease, low blood sugar, and even death.

Please don’t do this! If you have extra breast milk, please consider donating it to a milk bank at your local hospital, and if you have a baby animal that needs help, please contact a rehabilitator as quickly as possible.

And, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, please never attach an animal to your nipple. That’s really weird and we really didn’t need those photos.

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