Wildlife experts give tips on what to do if you find baby wildlife

NC7's Claire Jones spoke to staff at a local wildlife center to learn more on what you should do if you find babies of wildlife.
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 8:07 PM CST
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FREEPORT, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As the weather gets warmer, you are more likely to find baby wild animals. As “baby season” approaches, wildlife experts are giving tips on what to do if you do happen to find one.

The panhandle is reportedly one of the most bio-diverse hotspots in North America.

“We get so many different species of babies,” Alaqua Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Director Shelby Proie said. “We see so many different species and our specific proximity to the pine uplands, and also to the coast, makes it really unique.”

Staff said with so many animals in the area, the center is often flooded with calls about orphaned wildlife. She also said baby season lasts from around February to October, with the peak being around April from July. However, Proie told NewsChannel 7 that they get calls about baby wildlife all year long.

“So with the calls that we get, starting in probably late February, we get 10 to 20 calls a day- the vast majority dealing with baby animals,” Proie said. “I mean if we really think about it, it doesn’t ever really stop. We still get fawns through November and December.”

If you happen to find wildlife you believe needs help, Proie said to call the experts to help evaluate the situation and decide if the animal is truly in need.

“Just call us or call a permitted rehabber and we can walk you through the situation,” Prioe said. “There are so many different scenarios, but before you scoop it up and bring it in, it’s super important to speak with someone to guide you to give that animal the best chance at survival.”

Staff at the wildlife center said a majority of the time, the animal’s mother is still around. They said it is common for a baby to fall out of the nest or get displaced. If you are concerned, they said to watch the animal to ensure they are not in danger and see if there is an adult or parent animal nearby.

For more information on steps to take if you find orphaned or injured wildlife, click here.

Proie added that the Alaqua Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a non-profit and they provide their services to the community for free. If you would like to support the center, they are hosting a fundraiser at 155 Dugas Way in Freeport on March 25.