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

Business Planning with Stratpad Tools: 8:30 a.m. Jan. 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
Register for this event »

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Jan. 22, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Jan. 22, 2018; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

NAS Fort Worth, JRB Regional Coordination Committee: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22, 2018; Fort Worth Mounted Patrol Building, 1901 N. Las Vegas Trail.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Transportation Authority Commuter Rail Committee: 3:30 p.m. Jan. 22, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, Second Floor, Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Transportation Authority Planning, Operations & Marketing Committee: 4 p.m. Jan. 22, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, Second Floor, Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Transportation Authority Finance & Audit Committee: 4:45 p.m. Jan. 22, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, Second Floor, Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
View the agenda »

Task Force on Race and Culture: 5 p.m. Jan. 22, 2018; Oak Hall, Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
View the agenda »

Is Owning a Business a Good Fit For You?: 6 p.m. Jan. 22, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, IDEA Works, 600 E. Rosedale St.
Register for this event »

Audit Committee: 1 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

Central City Local Government Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

AllianceAirport Authority: 2 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Lone Star Local Government Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Notice of Public Meeting - Municipal Setting Designation for 2417 East Long Avenue: 7 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; Fort Worth City Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Notice of Public Meeting - Municipal Setting Designation for 1401 Swift Street: 7 p.m. Jan. 23, 2018; Fort Worth City Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Small Business Expo 2018: 9 a.m. Jan. 24, 2018; Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Hall A, 650 S Griffin Street, Dallas, Texas 75202.
Register for this event »

1 Million Cups - Fort Worth: 9 a.m. Jan. 24, 2018; Ensemble Coworking, 1617 Park Place Ave Suite 110, Fort Worth, TX 76110.

Recruiting and Hiring Great People: 11:30 a.m. Jan. 24, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
Register for this event »

View the full city calendar.