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Keep wildlife wild

Posted April 20, 2017

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owl sitting on someone's arm in a classroom
This baby owl was taken to the Fort Worth Animal Shelter by a resident. The owlet was later taken to a wildlife sanctuary to be cared for.

It’s hard for anyone to resist “rescuing” a baby rabbit, bird or other young wildlife that ends up in a local park or a backyard this time of year. When a wild baby seems helpless or abandoned, you want to help. But most wild babies are not helpless or abandoned. In fact, most people who think they are rescuing the infant actually cause more harm.

Every spring, Fort Worth’s Animal Care & Control Division receives infants at the shelter along with numerous phone calls from people who ask animal control officers to rescue newfound young. What many people don’t know is that most newborn wildlife is best left alone. The parents are likely nearby, but you can’t see them. Adult wildlife very rarely abandon their young.

“The single most important thing to learn is to not touch or interfere with the infant wildlife,” said Tim Morton, a veterinarian and assistant director in Code Compliance.

“My team and I urge people to avoid contact with young raccoons, coyotes, bats or skunks because these animals are high-risk carriers of rabies in Texas,” Morton said.

Humans can never be a substitute for wild animal parents, and more often than not, leaving a young animal alone gives it the best chance for survival. Young animals taken into captivity lose their natural instincts and ability to survive in the wild.

If you’re sure that an animal has been orphaned, or if it’s noticeably injured, call or email the city’s customer call center at 817-392-1234.

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Calendar

Randol Mill Road Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. May 25, 2017; Temple Baptist Church Cafeteria, 6824 Randol Mill Rd..

Como Fun Nights: 5:30 p.m. May 26, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

Kickback: 7 p.m. May 26, 2017; Eugene McCray Community Center, 4932 Wilbarger.

Walking Town Hall: 9:45 a.m. May 27, 2017; TCC South Campus, 5301 Campus Drive.
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Fort Worth Transportation Authority - Notice of Public Meeting and Public Hearing: noon May 30, 2017; lntermodal Transportation Center (ITC), 1001 Jones Street.
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Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board - Retirement/Investment Commitee: 12:30 p.m. May 30, 2017; Board Room, DFW Airport Headquarters Building, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board - Operations Committee: 12:50 p.m. May 30, 2017; Board Room, DFW Airport Headquarters Building, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board - Finance Committee: 1 p.m. May 30, 2017; Board Room, DFW Airport Headquarters Building , 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board - Concessions/Commercial Development Committee: 1:10 p.m. May 30, 2017; Board Room, DFW Airport Headquarters Building, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. May 30, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Fort Worth Transportation Authority - Notice of Public Meeting and Public Hearing: 5:30 p.m. May 30, 2017; lntermodal Transportation Center (ITC), 1001 Jones Street.
View the agenda »

Como Math & Science Night: 5:30 p.m. May 30, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

Westridge Sidewalks Meeting: 6 p.m. May 30, 2017; Ridglea Presbyterian Church, 6201 Camp Bowie Blvd.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 30, 2017; CIty Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

View the full city calendar.