Abandoned or Awaiting?
May 17, 2012
Posted By: Ask a Naturalist
Well, spring has sprung and Museum Naturalists are fielding calls about orphaned wildlife. Contrary to popular belief, most baby animals have not been abandoned; parents will leave the nest to search for food and will often remain hidden if you are nearby.
If you should happen upon a baby animal that you believe is an orphan, do not disturb the nest.
First, find a hiding spot and watch for the parents to return; depending on the species the parents may be away for a few minutes or a couple of hours.
If after several hours you have not seen the parent return, call either your local Department of Natural Resources or a local wildlife rehabilitator. These organizations will provide instructions as to the best way to deal with your specific situation. If you know for certain that the parents of the baby animal have been injured or killed, do not delay contact a local rehabilitator right away for further instructions.
Charlotte Nature Museum does not take in wildlife as we are not a rehabilitation facility, but we are committed to assisting our patrons figure out next steps. If you have a wildlife or nature-related question or just need help finding out how to proceed call and chat with a Naturalist or post a question below. We will help guide you through the process.