The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

The Buzz

Spring Breeding Season Reminder: Leave Young Wildlife Alone




(Photo courtesy of John Sullivan)

It's the time of year when a variety of young wildlife is dotting the landscape and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is issuing a warning to would-be do-gooders to avoid the temptation to interfere with wildlife that they believe is in need of help.

Why? Because most likely, the animals are just fine.

"During the breeding season, well-meaning people may believe they are helping by taking possession of young wildlife such as young rabbits, fawn deer, baby birds and other animals that may appear to have been orphaned or abandoned," IDNR cautions. "In nearly all cases, the birds and animals are still being fed and cared for by their parents, which likely stay away from nests or dens if people are present."

RELATED: DO'S AND DON'TS OF DEALING WITH INJURED, ORPHANED WILDLIFE

State officials urge people with questions about possibly abandoned wildlife to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A list of licensed rehabilitators can be found on the University of Illinois Extension's website.

Officials also urge people to be aware of the following:

  • Birds often leave the nest before they can fly. These birds, known as fledglings, will live on the ground for a few days while they grow flight feathers, and you may hear them making noises calling for their parents. They do this so their parents will continue to feed them, and it doesn’t mean they are in trouble. Keep children and pets away.
  • Do not attempt to rescue fawns. Fawns stay very still to conceal themselves until they are old enough to keep up with their mother. The mother will not stand near the fawns for fear of alerting predators to their presence. Leave fawns alone and the mother will return once you leave the area. 
  • It is illegal to feed wild deer. When deer congregate, it can facilitate the spread of disease and cause other unintended consequences. 
  • Wild birds and animals can become habituated to people when they are provided food. Do not leave pet food outside at night, clean up under bird feeders, secure the lids on garbage cans to keep raccoons and other wildlife out, and don’t feed Canada geese in urban/suburban areas. Nuisance animals can become dangerous to people.
  • Handling wild animals can result in the handler being bitten. According to the Centers for Disease Control, wild animals that bite a person must be euthanized immediately to be tested for rabies. 

____________

Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to our digital newsletter, The Citizen. Signing up is easy, free of charge and provides subscribers with weekly updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family.

Quiz: Test Your Beaver Brainpower

12/18/2018

We all know the saying "busy as a beaver," but how much do you really know about these buck-toothed rodents?

Read More


Have Your Christmas Lights Been Cut? Blame These Troublemakers

12/17/2018

Almost nothing kills the holiday spirit quite like looking out your window to find that the Christmas lights you spent hours hanging outside are no longer lighting up the winter night.

Read More


Creature Feature: The Stunning Snowy Owl

12/16/2018

Snowy owls are a prized find among bird-watchers, because the beautiful birds are a sight to behold set against a wintry backdrop.

Read More


The Citizen Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates