Reminder, Newborn Oklahoma Wildlife Isn’t Abandoned
As we roll into the heart of Spring, it's worth mentioning that the newborn and baby wildlife you may find this time of year doesn't need any help from you.
Anyday now the Lawton social media pages are going to fill up with posts about people finding abandoned baby bunnies, baby birds, and fawn deer wondering what they can do for them.
They're not abandoned, this is pure nature. They will be fine, leave them be.
Momma deer will often leave their offspring tucked away in tall grass while they go and feed. Since baby deer are so utterly defenseless, hiding is how they keep away from predators. It's the same for rabbits.
but far too often someone will come along and convince themselves that they need to save a poor, defenseless animal... that they've been abandoned by nature and need care.
This is just not the case. Nature may be sometimes brutal, but nature takes care of its own.
I you happen to find a fawn or some baby rabbits this year, leave them alone. They'll be find without you meddling in the natural order of Earth.
Mothers often abandon wildlife in nature - False
It's totally normal for baby animals to be left alone for hours on end in the wild. Most baby animals have little-to-zero scent about them, so they're practically invisible to predators.
We need to help baby wildlife during natural disasters - False
This is another common misunderstanding of nature. Rabbits usually raise babies in tiny little dugout pits in the lawn. When it rains some people think they need to rescue these rabbits so they won't drown--but here's the thing, they won't drown, ordinarily. While it may seem harsh, without living through challenges like the weather, these critters won't survive anyway. You're not helping, you're handicapping them.
If the momma smells our human scent, they'll abandon these babies anyway - False
I remember hearing this from my sister when we found a baby bird that fell out of its nest in our backyard one time. Turns out this is totally false.
First, birds have nearly zero sense of smell. Second, our human scent doesn't equate to predator or danger in deer and rabbits. At least not strong enough to break the maternal instinct this time of year. Come hunting season, things get a little different, but you won't find hiding babies in the fall.
What to do if you find wildlife alone in nature.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Bust out your phone and snap a pic to share, but leave the wildlife alone even if it's in your backyard.
If your kid brings in a baby bunny, take it back to where they found it. It'll be fine.
If the dog got ahold of it or you accidentally discovered it with the lawnmower, let nature do its thing. I know that sounds cold, but nature is brutal and you're not equipped to care for any wild animal. Besides, a tragedy like that will ensure another species gets to eat and live another day.
Nature is brutal and there's no changing that.