Yesterday I mentioned our partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, collaborating on public service announcements to encourage people to keep baby animals in the wild whenever possible. We're now in the peak of the wildlife birthing season and, in addition to these PSAs, The HSUS and its affiliates are helping wildlife in many other ways.
Our Urban Wildlife staff shares tips with the public about what to do if you come across a baby animal and how to coexist with wild animal neighbors, and our Humane Wildlife Services program serves the D.C. metropolitan area to humanely resolve human-wildlife conflicts. Our Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has helped to create more than 100 permanent wildlife sanctuaries in nearly 40 states and seven foreign countries. And three of our direct care centers are wildlife rehabilitation facilities, handling more than 15,000 animals a year. The remaining two facilities—reserved as sanctuaries for horses and other domestic and exotic animals—also have protected forest areas for native wildlife.
At this time of year, the wildlife care centers will receive an influx of newborns who've become sick or been orphaned or injured—every kind of creature from opossums, rabbits, squirrels, skunks and foxes to songbirds, raptors, shorebirds, turtles and other species. Our goal is to rehabilitate the animals in a way that avoids habituation, so their chances for survival remain high once released back into the wild.
Our Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, Calif. recently posted some photos of babies they're now working to rehab, and I couldn't help but share a few of them with you, along with some photos taken last year at our SPCA Wildlife Care Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
From the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, credit Christine Jensen/The HSUS:
Three of 12 striped skunks the Center has received so far this spring.
A coyote pup peeks out from behind the safety of his stuffed surrogate doll.
From the SPCA Wildlife Care Center, credit Kathy Milani/The HSUS:
A weeks-old squirrel must be hand-fed every few hours.
Orphaned ducklings keep warm by a heat lamp.
A baby opposum cuddles up to a surrogate mother.