As spring transitions to summer each year, the Greenburgh Nature Center receives many questions from concerned Westchester residents regarding what to do when a baby or injured animal is found. Although we are happy to provide information on this issue, the Greenburgh Nature Center itself is not a rehabilitation center and the only people legally allowed to treat and release wild animals are wildlife rehabilitators licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). If you see a clear injury or are having doubts, please refrain from bringing any animals to the Nature Center and instead visit the DEC’s website for a list of licensed rehabilitators in your area.
The DEC reminds us all that late May to early June is peak birthing season for a variety of New York wildlife and it is not unusual to come across baby animals that appear to be orphaned or neglected. However, these young animals are in fact going through a normal process of learning how to survive on their own. Attempting to remove them from the wild often does more harm than good. Parents are usually still in the area checking in on their babies and they may delay their visits if they detect human interference. This is why it is so important to adhere to the DEC saying, “If You Care, Leave It There.”
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