Written by Dr. Hall
With the coming of Spring in East Tennessee nature is awakening, flowers are blooming and birds are singing. This is also a time when wildlife is reproducing, and babies are on the way. Occasionally these newborns are found by people who want to help them. This is usually not a good idea. Parent rarely abandon babies and are usually taking care of them. If possible a baby bird could be placed back in the nest, but should not be taken in as they are very difficult to raise.
Baby bunnies are only fed once a day by the mother. They do not sit on a nest to keep the babies warm. They return at night to take care of them. It is not a good idea to rescue them as they are not easy to care for. It is better to leave them where they are found to let nature takes its course.
If it’s unavoidable then a licensed wildlife rehabilitator should be contacted. They have a much better likelihood of survival in the hands of an experienced person.
In addition, it is illegal to keep any animal native to the State. Another consideration is the possibility of exposing yourself and family to diseases which wildlife can carry. If bitten by a wild animal and it cannot be found, one must have shots to prevent rabies.
It is only human to want to help when we find an orphan creature but intervening can actually increase the risk that it may not survive.