In the spring, local wildlife rehabilitator, Maggie
Ciarcia, starts receiving calls from people who find
baby animals and want to know if they should rescue
them. Often, well-meaning people inadvertently make
orphans of these young animals. If you do find a truly
injured or orphaned animal, take it to a licensed Wildlife
Rehabilitator. Maggie joins with other area wildlife
rehabbers to give wildlife rehab workshops in the fall
at local nature centers in Croton, Greenburg, Scarsdale
and Yonkers. "This is a great place to start, to get
an overview of what rehab is all about-pros and cons"
states our own hero to local wildlife, Maggie Ciarcia.
In her 15th year as a New York State licensed wildlife
rehabilitator, Maggie offers some basic tips when encountering
If you have to chase it to catch it, MOST likely
it doesn't need your help.
Don't make orphans. Please don't unnecessarily take
a young animal away from its parents. Mother animals
do a much better job than we can.
Do not give any food, water or milk to a baby animal
without checking with a rehabber first. If the baby
aspirates the food or water, it could die.
Keep the animal warm, dark and quiet.
Please watch for rabbit's nests when mowing your
lawn in the spring. The Massachusetts Audubon Society
advises that if a rabbit nest is discovered in a lawn
or other location close to people or pets, by far
the simplest solution is to tolerate its presence.
This situation will last for a very brief time because
young rabbits leave the nest very early in life
about two weeks after birth. No attempt should be
made to relocate a nest as it is highly unlikely that
the mother cottontail will succeed in finding it.
To protect the nest from lawn mowers etc., place three
foot high stakes in a circle, at least eight feet
from the nest and attach caution tape
to each stake. This is a better solution than fencing
because nest area will be visible and the movement
of the young will not be restricted. Keep pets and
children away from the nest. Mammals, in contrast
to birds, have an acute sense of smell and often reject
young that have been handled by people. If a child
brings in a rabbit removed from a nest, immediately
return the cottontail to the nest. Wear gloves and
handle the animal as little as possible to avoid transferring
odor to it. If the rabbit has been handled, before
placing it back in the nest, rub grass between your
hands and then wipe your hands on the rabbits
back. Hopefully this will conceal any human odor.
For more answers, visit the House
Rabbit Society articles on orphaned baby bunnies.
of Maggie's tips on what you can do to help our
wildlife babies and safety advice for encounters with
wildlife from the Humane Soceity of the United States
Find a Westchester and Putnam County animal shelter,
pet rescue organization or humane society where you
can adopt, donate and volunteer in Ardsley, Armonk,
Bedford, Bedford Hills, Brewster, Briarcliff Manor,
Bronxville, Carmel, Chappaqua, Cold Spring, Croton,
Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Elmsford, Harrison, Hartsdale,
Hastings, Irvington, Katonah, Kent, Larchmont, Lewisboro,
Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon,
Nelsonville, New Rochelle, North Salem, Ossining, Patterson,
Peekskill, Pelham, Philipstown, Pleasantville, Port
Chester, Pound Ridge, Purchase, Putnam Valley, Rye,
Rye Brook, Scarsdale, Sleepy Hollow, Somers, Southeast,
Tarrytown, Tuckahoe, White Plains, Yonkers, and Yorktown.