HART Wildlife Rescue, an Alton-based charity which provides a rescue, treatment and rehabilitation service to local wildlife is rapidly filling up with baby animals and juveniles indicating that Spring has well and truly sprung. This time of year, dubbed “Baby Season” by animal rescue centres is especially busy as wildlife comes out of hibernation and starts to reproduce. Combine this with our tendency to spring clean and tidy our gardens as we come out of winter, and you have disturbed nests and dens, babies separated from parents, and more little ones coming into HART.
Every year, from the end of March, the hospital takes in more abandoned and orphaned young wildlife such as fox cubs, baby squirrels, bunnies and an assortment of baby birds among others. This means lots more work at the hospital as babies need to be fed specific diets at regular intervals. The staff and volunteers at HART are happy to help these little creatures through to release but believe that many of these admissions could be avoided by giving members of the public some easy tips on how to live with, or help wildlife.
Lauren Gender-Sherry, Hospital Manager said “It’s important to realise when wildlife is actually in need and when to leave well alone. Parents of baby animals will need to go and get food for their young so it is normal for them to be left alone for hours at a time. We really encourage people to monitor these situations and see whether the parents come back with food after a few hours. Sadly, if babies are moved while the parents are out, it means that the family is broken up. It is always with good intentions that the animals are brought into us, but we would encourage people to call us for advice before moving any babies”
“Of course, if the animal is in danger, a bird in a garden with a cat and unable to fly for example, then we would advise an intervention to make the animal safe, but this can be as simple as lifting it up into a tree and out of harm’s way. That way they are still in familiar territory and often the parent will be able to find them easily in the same area.”
This time of year is particularly expensive for HART as babies require specialist foods, and caring for so many more animals means costs add up. HART is funded entirely by donations and is reliant on volunteers to ensure that the running of the hospital and local shop is smooth and efficient. If you would like to donate to or volunteer for HART, please check the website www.hartwildlife.org.uk for details on how to join, donate or buy from the Amazon Wishlist.