Monday, 10 February 2014

I 'rescued' a wild animal, now what do I do...

For those of you who don't know me personally it is important to note that I make a living working in agriculture. Specifically, I work with livestock.

I often get very frustrated with people who have no prior experience with livestock, but who choose to go out and buy farm animals and think it is much like having a dog or cat. Often these are the same people who have nothing good to say about farmers who are professionals at taking care of livestock.

This is exactly how Lambert came to be. Lambert was born to a ewe owned by people who have no knowledge of sheep. One of Lambert's siblings died during the difficult birth. The other sibling froze to death and Lambert came close to dying from lack of nourishment and cold.

Lambert was lucky to have been helped by one of my volunteers and brought here. As a skilled livestock person I was able to help Lambert. He is not out of the woods yet, but he is making progress. He has food in his belly, is warm and his pneumonia and other ailments are being treated which is the best I or anyone else can do for him now. It would have been better to prevent these issues however. 

 The same happens with wildlife. People come across a wild animals that they assume needs help. Sometimes these animals are truly in need of help, sometimes they are not.

Often rather than seeking professional help they will try to take care of the animal themselves. This means that often when wildlife finally ends up in the hands of a skilled/trained person the animal is beyond help.

It is not as easy as it appears. Every situation calls for a different approach. There are so many variables to take into account when it comes to animal care in general and wildlife rehabilitation specifically.

All though the internet is a great resource for many things, it should never be used as a DIY guide for wildlife rehabilitation. Mainly for the above mentioned reasons, but also because there are a lot of websites out there with incorrect information.

Most of all...We are dealing with animals. Critters who can not speak for themselves. When we as humans take responsibility for these lives we need to first and foremost DO NO HARM. Many of the wild animals I receive whom people tried to doctor themselves at home could be considered 'Cruelty to Animal' cases. I often say 'People kill them with Kindness'.

I understand where the feeling comes from. People try to do the best they can, but simply do not know what is required.

When you think you see wildlife in need of help use the following steps:

For orphaned wildlife: Orphan
For adults wildlife: Adult Wildlife

Try to spread this message far and wide. Let's aim to prevent animals from suffering unnecessarily and never be afraid to ask for professional help...

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