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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: 10 a.m. May 21, 2018; City Hall, 2nd Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Public Hearing: 10:30 a.m. May 21, 2018; City Hall, 2nd Floor, Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.
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Task Force on Race and Culture: 3:30 p.m. May 21, 2018; Beborah Beggs Mocrief Garden Center, Oak Hall, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. May 21, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Randol Mill Road Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. May 21, 2018; Temple Baptist Church - Cafeteria, 6824 Randol Mill Road.

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. May 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.

Metropolitan Area EMS Authority / MedStar Mobile Healthcare: 10 a.m. May 23, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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School Visit - Lunch & Learn: noon May 23, 2018; Atwood Macdonald Elementary .

City Plan Commission Work Session: noon May 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Fort Worth Professional Fire Fighters Association Collective Bargaining Negotiations: 12:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Budget Stakeholder's Meeting: 3:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; Council Room 290, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102.

Park and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. May 23, 2018; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Deborah Beggs Memorial Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Rolling Town Hall: 6 p.m. May 23, 2018; Ridglea North, Berney Park, 6316 Rosemont Avenue.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Directors Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. May 24, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Affordability Inc: 5 p.m. May 24, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Westcliff Drainage Improvements Project Open House: 6 p.m. May 24, 2018; Westcliff Elementary School - Auditorium, 4300 Clay Ave.

View the full city calendar.