THE RSPCA says its busiest season is arriving, as officers and wildlife centre staff prepare for a surge of calls about baby wild animals and birds in need of help.
Whether they’ve been attacked and injured by another animal, separated from their mother, or even orphaned, the RSPCA is there to help baby animals in need.
Between the beginning of February and Thursday, April 20, the charity has already taken in 753 young wild animals, including fledglings, nestlings and juveniles.
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Ducklings also keep RSPCA inspectors busy at this time of year. One flock of ducklings were collected after being found stuck in a drain in Thorpe Willoughby, near Selby, North Yorkshire, by a German Shepherd puppy who was out for a walk with his owner late at night earlier this month. They are now being cared for by a specialist wildlife rehabilitator who will prepare them for release back into the wild.
While the duckling, pictured, was rescued alongside her six siblings in York after being left by their mother. They’re now also being cared for by specialists for eventual release.
Other animals recently brought to RSPCA centres include squirrels, baby badgers, fox cubs and an owlet.
The RSPCA advises the public not to touch a baby bird unless they are sure it genuinely needs help. Fledglings – who have most or all of their feathers – leave their nest before they can fly but their parents are usually nearby and will still be feeding their baby.
The animal welfare charity advises people watch from a distance. If the fledgling is in immediate danger, place it in a sheltered spot a short distance away.
If you see a baby bird with a few feathers, or none at all, it is a nestling and will not survive for long outside its nest and should be taken to a local vet or wildlife rehabilitator.
For more information on what to do if you find a fledgling or wild animal, visit the website; rspca.org.uk