Wildlife Baby Season has begun at WildCare! On Tuesday alone, we admitted 28 individual animal patients, most of them orphaned babies.
WildCare admits over 3,500 animal patients a year, and 80% of them arrive between April and August.
This appears to be an early year, however! We have already admitted our first orphaned baby raccoon, our first injured fawn, and our first fallen-from-nest baby songbirds. All of these patients usually arrive in late April or early May!
The photo to the right shows our Med Staff busy in the Med Room-- in this moment they are in the process of admitting 13 baby opossums, six baby rats and two ducklings, all at the same time!
Meet some of these first orphaned baby animals at WildCare in the videos below, and be sure to check your yard and neighborhood for baby animals in distress!
How do you know if an animal needs help? The 5 Cs!
If a baby animal is:
Coming toward you (approaching people)
Covered in blood or insects
Caught by a cat or a dog
then that animal desperately needs help! Call WildCare's Living with Wildlife Hotline at 415-456-7283 for lifesaving assistance!
Orphaned Baby Raccoon
This tiny baby raccoon was found in a park all alone. She had a small laceration on her leg, but no other injuries. She is less that two weeks old (her eyes and ears are not yet open and her tail has only the faintest of stripes), so she is much too young to be alone.
We suspect she was grabbed by a predator and dropped, or that something happened when her mother was moving her litter to another den and this baby got left behind. Raccoons are excellent mothers, so the first scenario is the most likely.
We usually admit our first baby raccoons in late April or early May, so this little one may foretell an early (and busy!) baby raccoon season. Watch her enjoying her special raccoon baby formula in the video above.
Duckling & Gosling Enjoying Swim Time
We know Wildlife Baby Season has really begun when we admit our first duckling!
This Canada Goose gosling and Mallard duckling are the first of their species to be admitted to WildCare's Wildlife Hospital this spring, so we are temporarily housing them together until conspecifics can be found.
In this video the fluffy pair are having swim time, allowing them to build strength, hydrate and stretch while a WildCare volunteer cleans their brooder. These two will remain in care until they are old enough to be released back to the wild.
... Enjoy a special look at what happens below the surface!
We swim our ducklings and goslings in clear bins, and the opportunity to look beneath the water is too tempting to pass up! This video gives us the opportunity to watch the young birds' specialized webbed feet in action as they swim. Keep in mind what this looks like the next time you see ducklings or goslings swimming after their parents in the wild!
First Fawn of 2022
This fawn was found with her leg caught in a fence.
Our team hoped that she could be reunited with her mother, but an examination found that her right front leg was very swollen and painful. Radiographs showed that the leg wasn't broken, however, and the fawn was able to stand and walk the next day without limping.
Our team is doing our research to make sure that the mother deer is still in the area where the fawn was found. Assuming she is (deer are excellent mothers, and this fawn's mother is probably still looking for her), we will attempt a reunite in the next day or so.
In this video the fawn receives specialized fawn formula while Assistant Director of Hospital Programs, Jacqueline Lewis stimulates her to urinate. We hope we will be able to return this spotted baby to her mom and her life in the wild!
Orphaned Fox Squirrels
This baby squirrel and his sister were found on the ground. Their rescuers knew that it is often possible to reunite baby squirrels with their mother, so they left the babies alone overnight. Fortunately a predator didn't find them!
We appreciate so much that people want to help keep wildlife families together, but we ask everyone to please call WildCare at 415-456-7283 before attempting a reunite.
In this case, the babies were thin and cold, indicating that something had happened to their mother, and reuniting was not a possibility. They were both hypothermic very dehydrated on intake.
Reunites are wonderful when they work, but every situation is different. If you find a baby animal and think the mother is still nearby, please call WildCare at 415-456-7283 and let us help walk you through the situation to make sure a reunite is a valid possibility.
These baby squirrels are recovering well and will remain in care until they are old enough to be released back where they were found.