Wildwoods Sees More Orphaned Animals Coming In, Starts Amazon Registry For Supplies
DULUTH, Minn. — The Wildwoods Rehabilitation Center in Duluth is seeing more orphaned baby squirrels, bunnies, and other animals brought in as the weather warms up, and now the team there has launched an Amazon registry to help collect essential supplies.
A lot of the young animals are brought in after pet owners’ cats and dogs dig up their nests in yards, or by people gardening and cutting down trees.
Wildwoods staff will first try to reunite orphaned animals with their moms where the nest was, but if that doesn’t work, the babies are taken in for care until they’re strong and old enough to be released back into the wild.
If you do spot a bunny nest in your yard, there is something you can do to help protect it from curious pets.
“If you do find a nest of bunnies, you can put like a laundry hamper on top of it, put a rock on to hold it down, and just keep it protected during the day so that your pets stay away, and then make sure that at dawn and dusk the mother rabbit has access to the babies,” Jessica LaBumbard, the executive director of Wildwoods, explained. “She feeds twice a day and those times are dawn and dusk.”
When you spot a baby animal who seems to be abandoned in the wild, or maybe an animal family you don’t want on your property, call your local wildlife rehabilitation center first before you go near it.
Some baby animals are actually left alone by their moms in a safe place on purpose while they are out.
“Another quick example is fledglings,” LaBumbard said. “They’ll sit on the ground, but their parents will come down and feed them, and sometimes people mistake the fledgling for an injured bird and they pick it up and bring it in, and we have to send it back because it does have a mom that’s still feeding it and it’s actually fine. So the best course of action is to just give us a call, and we’ll walk you through any scenario that you run into.”
Wildwoods also gets calls about animals who get their heads stuck in food containers that may have tiny amounts of food residue in it that they can smell.
Make sure you wash food containers and secure them in the recycling bins.
Wildwoods typically takes in about 130 different species, with around 1,700 to 1,800 animals brought in every year.