Home > News

Keep wildlife wild

Posted April 20, 2017

Archived Content Information and links provided may no longer be accurate.
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.

Get articles like this in your inbox weekly. Subscribe to City News

City News

Calendar

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.

MAEMSA/MedStar Mobile Healthcare Board of Director's Budget Review : 2 p.m. Aug. 21, 2017; Exectutive Board Room, MedStar Offices, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Transportation Authority Commuter Rail Committee Work Session: 3:30 p.m. Aug. 21, 2017; Second Floor Community Room, Intermodal Transportation Center, 1001 Jones Street.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Transportation Authority Planning, Operations & Marketing Committee Working Session: 4 p.m. Aug. 21, 2017; Second Floor Community Room, Intermodal Transportation Center, 1001 Jones Street.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Transportation Authority Finance & Audit Committee Working Session: 4:30 p.m. Aug. 21, 2017; Secind Floor Community Room, Intermodal Transportaion , 1001 Jones Street.
View the agenda »

Canceled 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.

City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Aug. 23, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23, 2017; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas.
View the agenda »

Capital Improvements Advisory Committee for Transportation Impact Fees: 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23, 2017; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Four Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. Aug. 23, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Aug. 24, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

View the full city calendar.