MADISON (WKOW) -- With spring here, you may start to see a lot of baby animals in the wild, but Dane County Humane Society officials say it's best to leave them there, unless they truly need help.
DCHS' Four Lakes Wildlife Center has seen an increase in wild animals over the last two years, jumping from just over 1,000 animals a year to over 3,000 in one year's time. With a limited amount of space and recourse, DCHS is unable to accommodate the increasing number of animals.
"We think it's because people are aware of our rehab program, Four Lakes Wildlife Center, but also there's a lot of urban development, there's a lot of construction and growth happening, and so we think that sometimes is the reason for the increase in wildlife intake too," Gayle Viney, the public relations coordinator for DCHS, said.
Viney says this year they want everyone to work together as a community to keep healthy babies with their families so they able to keep space open for animals that truly need their assistance. She says most of the time it's best to leave a wild animal where it is.
"Well meaning individuals will bring us, especially squirrels and baby bunnies, that they think are maybe orphaned, but a lot of times the mom is just off getting food," Viney said.
Viney is asking anyone who comes across a wild animal they believe needs help to call DCHS before bringing an animal to the shelter. DCHS will help assess the situation to decide if intervening is in the best interest of the animal.
This weekend, the public is invited to attend two events. The first is the Four Lakes Wildlife Center Baby Shower on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. It's a family friendly event to collect needed items for the incoming injured wild baby patients. They're looking for lots of items, including paper towel, Ziploc bags, Kleenex, fleece pieces, and timothy hay.
On Sunday, you can learn more about wildlife rehab and ways the public can help at Helping Wisconsin's Wildlife: Informational Seminar on Wildlife Rehabilitation. The seminar runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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