SPRING IS IN THE AIR, AND WILDLIFE BABIES ARE IN THE OPEN - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

April 2, 2003

SPRING IS IN THE AIR, AND WILDLIFE BABIES ARE IN THE OPEN

Every spring a natural process occurs and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is asking that it be allowed to continue. Each year around this time, animal mothers venture out with their young to teach them survival. This often involves leaving them alone to hone their hunting skills, or learn how to walk or fly. The mother is usually close-by, observing. However, this isn't always obvious to the casual passer-by. Each year around this time, the department receives many calls from people looking to help or care for the "abandoned" animals. LDWF Biologist Jimmy Ernst asks that people not interfere with this natural event.

"The initial reaction when seeing these small animals alone is to try to help them," said Ernst. "But if we step in, we could do more harm than good. While we think the animal has been left behind, the mother may actually be keeping a very watchful eye from a distance. We need to remember to let nature take its course."

In cases where a small animal or bird appears to be injured or in need of assistance, certified wildlife rehabilitators should be contacted. Wildlife rehabilitators have the training and skills necessary to care for most young animals. They can be reached by contacting LDWF.

For more information, contact Jimmy Ernst at 225/765-3557 ernst_jr@wlf.state.la.us

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