British Columbia

Call us before bringing in orphaned animals, wildlife centre says

Many species leave their offspring while they are out searching for food, giving the impression that the young animals are fending for themselves, the Critter Care Wildlife Society says.

Species like deer can leave their young for hours at a time — so that fawn may not be an orphan, after all

This little fawn is one of four that were brought into the Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley over the weekend. (Critter Care Wildlife Society)

A wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organization is urging people to call them before bringing in an animal they think may be orphaned.

Many species leave their offspring while they are out searching for food, giving the impression that the young animals are fending for themselves.

It's a particular issue in spring, when many animals are rearing their young, and a particular issue with deer, which can often leave their babies for hours.

"The biggest thing right now is, if you think an animal is orphaned, call us first before you go and pick that animal up," said Breanne Glinnum, Critter Care Wildlife Society's senior animal care supervisor.

"Because there's a good chance it may not be orphaned," she said.

The society, located in Langley, B.C., provides short- and long-term care and rehabilitation to mammal species that are native to B.C. So far this year it has admitted 551 animals.

Injured or orphaned wildlife that are native to B.C., like this baby raccoon, are cared for at Critter Care. (Critter Care Wildlife Society)

Glinnum said an Abbotsford man called the centre on Saturday after seeing and hearing two fawns running around on his property crying for their mother.

"That's unusual for fawns," Glinnum said. "When they are up and running and there's no mom to be seen around, that's a concern for us."

A rescue team was dispatched and the twin males were brought to the centre. Altogether, four fawns were brought in over the weekend.

Bubbles the bear was brought to Critter Care last summer. He will be ready to be released back into the wild this summer. (Critter Care Wildlife Society)

Critter Care also houses animals like raccoons, squirrels, opossums and rabbits. Two bear cubs were brought in this year. Four cubs that were brought in last year will be released back into the wild this summer.

Glinnum said volunteers sometimes experience mixed emotions when an animal that's been in their care is finally ready to go back where it came from.

"It's a really sad thing to see your babies go," she said. 

"But it's a really heartwarming thing to see too, see them get loaded up and driven into the forest to do what the animal is supposed to do."

The twin fawns rescued this weekend are scheduled to be released near where they were found at the beginning of August.


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