SIKESTON -- The beginning of daylight savings time is also the time wild animals have their little ones.
Calls have already begun coming in about orphaned wildlife. Baby animals are rarely abandoned. People often jump to the conclusion that a new-born animal is abandoned if they find one all alone. The parent is afraid of people and will retreat when you approach. If the animal is left alone, the parent will usually return.
Parent animals cannot constantly attend their young. Often, they spend many hours each day gathering food.
Young birds occasionally fall from their nests. The parents will continue to care for young birds if they are carefully returned.
However, many young birds normally go through a stage where they are too active to remain in the nest but are not yet able to fly. The parents will continue to care for them until they can fly.
Wild animals, if they are to survive in captivity, often require highly specialized care. Without such care they will remain in poor health and may eventually die.
This is why parents of little children must educate them about the lives of wild animals and their young.
Animals are better off in their natural habitat where they are free to reproduce and carry on their species.
If a wild animal is broken to captivity, it will probably die if returned to the wild.
Conventional pets such as dogs, cats and birds will often die if they are dumped into the wild.
Many animals are nocturnal, which means they are not active until after dark. They sleep during the day and can be quite disturbing at night while people sleep.
I get many calls from people wanting to care for young animals that they think are abandoned.
I have to remind folks that wild animals, as they mature, can become very dangerous to handle and care for.
Wild animals are protected by law. It is illegal to possess many wild animals without a valid state or federal permit.
If you have any questions, contact Leother Branch, your local conservation agent at 573-471-5737.