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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

City Council Budget Work Session on the FY18 Budget: 9 a.m. Aug. 17, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Monthly Informational Forum for Minority Business Enterprises: 11:30 a.m. Aug. 17, 2017; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 S. Freeway.

Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County Workforce Delivery Systems Committee: noon Aug. 17, 2017; Board Large Conference Room, 1320 S. University Drive Suite 600.
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Fort Worth Library Advisory Board: 12:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 2017; Chappell Meeting Room, Fort Worth Central Library, 500 W. 3rd Street.
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Community Action Partners (CAP) Council : 1:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 2017; First Floor Board Room, Fort Worth City Credit Union, 2309 Montgomery STreet.
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Regional Transportation Council : 2:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 2017; North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), 616 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, Texas 76011.
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Overton Woods Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Aug. 17, 2017; Arborlawn United Methodist Church, 5001 Briarhaven Rd..

Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission: 6 p.m. Aug. 17, 2017; Conference Room, Tarrant Regional Water District, 800 E. Northside Drive.
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Southside, Riverside & Oakhurst Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 2017; Andrew "Doc" Session Community Center, 201 South Sylvania Ave.

Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 11:30 a.m. Aug. 18, 2017; PharmFab Conference Room #116, First Floor, James E. Guinn Building, 1150 South Freeway.
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City Council Budget Session Work Session on the FY18 Budget: 1:30 p.m. Aug. 18, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Walking Town hall: 10 a.m. Aug. 19, 2017; To be determined.

Como Kids Back to School Bash: noon Aug. 19, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

2018 Bond Election Public Meeting District 5: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21, 2017; Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty Street.

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Aug. 22, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Aug. 22, 2017; City Council Chamber, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

View the full city calendar.