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Keep wildlife wild

Posted April 20, 2017

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

Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. April 27, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Housing Channel Financial Literacy Class (Credit & Budgeting): 10 a.m. April 27, 2017; Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St.

Fort Worth Affordability Inc. Special Meeting: 4 p.m. April 27, 2017; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office, Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Special Meeting: 4 p.m. April 27, 2017; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Offices, Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Como Reading Night: 5:30 p.m. April 27, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission: 6 p.m. April 27, 2017; Tarrant Regional Water District, Conference Room, 800 East Northside Drive.
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City of Fort Worth Art Commission : 6:30 p.m. April 27, 2017; Tandy Lecture Hall, Fort Worth Central Library, 500 W 3rd Street.
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Minority and Woman Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 11:30 a.m. April 28, 2017; PharmaFab Conference Room #116, James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, 1150 South Freeway.
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Canceled Residential Board of Adjustment - Work Session: 1:15 p.m. April 28, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled Residential Board of Adjustment - Public Hearing: 2 p.m. April 28, 2017; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Kickback: 7 p.m. April 28, 2017; Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty.

Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: 9 a.m. April 29, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

MLK Community Center Senior Prom: 3 p.m. April 29, 2017; Tarrant County College, South Campus Gymnasium, 5301 Campus Drive.

Diamond Hill Jarvis - Northside Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 1, 2017; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 N.E. 36th St.

Cyber Safety Begins With You: 11:30 a.m. May 2, 2017; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 S. Freeway.

Twitter Town Hall: 11:30 a.m. May 2, 2017; Participate on Twitter.

Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee: 1 p.m. May 2, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Housing and Neighborhood Services Committee: 2 p.m. May 2, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. May 2, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 2, 2017; CIty Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

View the full city calendar.