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The organization said people are unnecessarily attending to wildlife, who are thought to be struggling.
“We’re seeing a lot of people giving us a call for animals they are finding and think need help, perhaps something they wouldn’t have noticed before if they weren’t working from home or if their kids were in school,” said Megan Lawrence, Salthaven West’s director of rehabilitation.
“Its fledgeling birds, baby bunnies where it’s normal for them to be on the ground or be left alone, but people don’t realize that so they end up taking them home, essentially kidnapping them.”
Not only are these animals being taken away from their families, but it’s also creating problems for the rehabilitation centre.
“We’re definitely seeing an increase in our patient load over this time last year so it just adds to the food cost. We don’t have as many volunteers as we did last year because of the (coronavirus) pandemic,” Lawrence said.
“For the volunteers who are here, it’s putting a lot of stress and strain on them to care for all these additional patients.”
Lawrence said roaming cats and animal cruelty are also leading to an increased number of injured wildlife.
“They often have injuries when they come in, puncture wounds from cats and are in bad shape when they get here,” Lawrence said.
“We’ve seen a few cases in which people have mistreated animals whether they are doing it on purpose, or not realizing what they are doing is mistreatment.
“These animals don’t have to come into care at all if it hadn’t been for people mistreating them. This also adds to our patient load.”
Lawrence said the message to the public is easy. “Leave wildlife lone unless sick, injured or orphaned.”
She added it’s impossible to prevent bad things from happening, and in most cases said it’s important for mother nature to take its course.
Before any action is taken by residents, Lawrence said people should contact Salthaven West for advice.
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