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Find a baby animal in your yard? What you need to know BEFORE you help

New arrivals at the SWVA wildlife center. The bunnies pictured arrived Thursday, their eyes are opened and they are weaned.
New arrivals at the SWVA wildlife center. The bunnies pictured arrived Thursday, their eyes are opened and they are weaned. (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -Spring officially starts Sunday, and for many that means the greening of the grass, yard work and yes, baby wildlife.

A local animal rescue wants to remind the public about new baby wildlife in the area, and best practices concerning rescuing "injured" or "abandoned" animals.

Executive Director Sabrina Garvin says spring is the busiest time of year for the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke.

The baby animals have already begun to arrive.

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Garvin says now that the weather is warming up, people are getting outdoors and into their gardens. They often stumble into the hiding place of new wildlife.

Hundreds of baby rescues are brought in for care each year. Garvin says many of those brought into the center are mistakenly taken away from their mother by the good intended rescuer.

This is especially true for fawns and rabbits.

Garvin says often fawns and bunnies are found alone, and appear to be abandoned by their mother.

In most cases, they aren't.

Garvin says when suspecting an animal is abandoned, just leave it alone. Don't touch it or move for at least several hours. More often than not, the mother will return.

"We recommend placing all bunnies back in their nest. Mom returns in the evening to feed and is usually never spotted near the nest, causing people to think the babies are abandoned. Never offer baby mammals milk," Garvin said.

SWVA Wildlife Center has already received a litter of bunnies.

If you locate any animal with injuries or the nest cannot be located, Garvin says they are there to help.

For help or to donate contact swvawildlifecenter.org


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