Don’t “help” an injured adult deer!

It’s hard to see an injured animal without stepping in to help. But in the case of adult deer, the best way to help is to step back. Deer are extremely susceptible to a strange, complex disorder called capture myopathy. When captured, many of them simply die, even if they get the best possible care.Continue reading “Don’t “help” an injured adult deer!”

Cottontail Mothers Feed Young Twice Daily

Cottontails don’t generally nest in burrows or dens, but in shallow depressions right in the middle of a forest of lawn. Predators are everywhere, but these babies stay safe while hidden in plain sight! That’s because mother cottontails have an impressive technique for keeping their babies hidden. Unlike other mammals that lie with their youngContinue reading “Cottontail Mothers Feed Young Twice Daily”

Dealing with Zombie Raccoons

Zombie raccoons aren’t rare. You may see a raccoon that is staggering, grunting, standing on its hind legs, and periodically collapsing into an unresponsive coma. It may even have glowing green eyes that appear blind. It looks terrifying, but there’s no need to hoard canned food and ammo. This “zombie syndrome” is caused by canineContinue reading “Dealing with Zombie Raccoons”

Found A Baby Raccoon? Don’t Touch!

Every year, wildlife rehabilitators, game wardens, and veterinarians are forced to euthanize hundreds of healthy raccoons. In most parts of the country, raccoons are considered rabies vector species. This does not mean that it is likely that they have rabies; only that they are at a greater risk than, say, a rabbit or goat. BecauseContinue reading “Found A Baby Raccoon? Don’t Touch!”

I Found a Fawn! What now?

Babies like this are often kidnapped by well-meaning people who mistake them for orphans, but this baby doesn’t need help. Mother deer will often leave their babies alone for up to several hours a day, often hidden in underbrush, tall grass, or leaves. The fawn knows to lie down and be very still, to avoidContinue reading “I Found a Fawn! What now?”

Found a Dead Opossum? Check its Pouch!

Car collisions are a leading cause of death for adult opossums. When an opossum is terrified, it enters an involuntary comatose state (“playing possum”) and freezes in place. This is great for dissuading predators, but evolution didn’t prepare the opossum for automobiles. The good news is that, if you see a dead opossum, it mightContinue reading “Found a Dead Opossum? Check its Pouch!”

Fledglings Don’t Need Help

Especially in the spring and summer, you’re likely to see a baby bird awkwardly hobbling on the ground, barely able to fly, possibly crying for its mother. It’s understandable that many well-meaning people mistake these babies for orphans. They are actually doing just fine and are under their parents’ care! If a bird has feathersContinue reading “Fledglings Don’t Need Help”

Sick. Not “Friendly.”

Pretty much everyone wishes they could befriend a wild animal. It’s not at all uncommon for people to be excited when a wild fox or raccoon seems to randomly approach them without fear. It’s human nature to project that the animal is seeking comfort or companionship, and to fantasize about being able to provide exactlyContinue reading “Sick. Not “Friendly.””

I found a baby skunk! What now?

You look out your window and see a litter of skunk kits running around with no parent to be seen. What’s next? Kits without their mother aren’t necessarily orphaned or injured. However, unlike some animals, skunks are typically attentive parents who don’t leave their babies unattended for very long. If you wait about three hoursContinue reading “I found a baby skunk! What now?”