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Leave the baby animals alone: Hope for Wildlife

An animal rehab centre in Nova Scotia says it's seeing a boom in the number of baby animals brought in, but many of the small critters don’t actually need to be there.

Rehab swamped as baby animals brought in

An animal rehab centre in Nova Scotia says it's seeing a boom in the number of baby animals brought in, but many of the small critters don’t actually need to be there.

There are now 200 young raccoons at the Hope for Wildlife Society in Seaforth. The group's founder Hope Swinimer says many were brought in because homeowners decided to get their parents out of the attic or shed.

"So they'll live trap out and what they are forgetting is that there's always babies this time of year,” said Swinimer.

The group has also taken in tiny starlings, geese, and ducks. Hundreds of baby squirrels have arrived, some after being attacked by house cats. A litter of fox pups came in a month ago.

There are also porcupines and a seal.

Early Friday morning, three baby beavers came in from Antigonish. Their parents were shot.

"We probably get 350 baby raccoons, we get hundreds of squirrels and we get dozens of the other species,” said Swinimer.

She says animals often get dropped off at the shelter by people with the best of intentions, but they should leave the babies alone.

“People see the baby, think it's in distress, think it's alone, scoop it up and bring it in for rehab when it's perfectly fine,” she said.

This week, Swinimer received four calls for fawns that weren't in trouble.

She says if a baby animal is sitting quietly in the woods or on the ground, people shouldn’t charge to the rescue. Instead, call an animal rehab centre.

"Use logic. Do you see blood? Do you see a bone sticking out? Do you see a droopy wing? Do you see a dead mom close by? So those are all indicators that there's a reason to get involved," said Swinimer.

As spring goes on the baby boom will continue. Swinimer says they need to build a new barn in time for next year to house all the babies.

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