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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

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. June 26, 2017; City Hall, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. June 26, 2017; City Hall, Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, 200 Texas Street.
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DFW International Airport Public Facility Improvement Corporation Board: 10:30 a.m. June 26, 2017; Board Room - DFW Airport Headquarters Building , 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Fort Worth Transportation Authority Board of Directors: 3:30 p.m. June 26, 2017; Intermodal Transportation Center, 1001 Jones Street, 2nd Floor Community Room.
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Step One: Starting a Business: 11 a.m. June 27, 2017; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 S. Freeway.

DFW International Airport Board Retirement/Investment Committee: 12:30 p.m. June 27, 2017; Board Room - DFW Airport Headquarters Building, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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DFW International Airport Board Operations Committee: 12:40 p.m. June 27, 2017; Board Room - DFW Airport Headquarters Building, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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DFW International Airport Board Finance/Audit Committee: 1 p.m. June 27, 2017; Board Room - DFW Airport Headquarters Building, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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DFW International Airport Board Concessions/Commercial Development Committee: 1:20 p.m. June 27, 2017; Board Room - DFW Airport Headquarters Building, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Numbe 3 Construction Tour: 1:30 p.m. June 27, 2017; Frost Tower, 640 Taylor Street.
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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. June 27, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Special Called City Council Meeting: 3 p.m. June 27, 2017; City Hall, 2nd floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Bluebonnet Circle Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. June 27, 2017; Trinity Episcopal Church, 3401 Bellaire Drive South.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. June 27, 2017; CIty Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Plan Commission - Work Session: noon June 28, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, CIty Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission - Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. June 28, 2017; City Council Chamber, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Park and Recreation Advisory Board : 4 p.m. June 28, 2017; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Alliance Community Park Master Plan Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 28, 2017; Northwest High School - Student Union, 2301 Texan Drive, Justin.

DFW International Airport Board of Directors: 8:30 a.m. June 29, 2017; Board Room - DFW Airport Headquarters Building, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Foster Park Drainage & Erosion Control Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 29, 2017; Southwest Regional Library, 4100 Library Lane.

View the full city calendar.