Sioux Falls, South Dakota: With the coming of spring, Sioux Falls residents will likely start seeing more wildlife in their yards and parks. Sioux Falls Animal Control would like people to know some basic facts about young wildlife.
Wild animals leave their young alone for long periods, often from four to six hours at a time. The mother needs to go find food, and the young are not able to follow her yet. Their safest option is to stay still. If you discover a baby bird, bunny, raccoon, or other wild animal, do not pick it up.
Most baby animals that people find have not been abandoned. If you move the animal, then the mother will not be able to find it. Also, the mother may not come back if you are nearby, so give the baby some time and space. The mother is probably coming to feed her young when you are not watching.
Wild animal mothers are better parents for wild animal babies than people are, so let them do their jobs. If you are afraid your pet will injure the baby animals, try to protect the nest and limit your pet’s movements near the nest for a couple of weeks. The young will move on when they are old enough.
Do not take baby animals to the Game, Fish and Parks Outdoor Campus, the Great Plains Zoo, or to the Humane Society. These locations do not relocate or rehabilitate wild baby animals. It is against the law to have wild birds or animals in your home without a permit. Raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and bats cannot be kept as pets in the City of Sioux Falls because they are considered non-domestic animals.
If you have questions about wildlife that you have found, call Animal Control at 367-7000 for more information.