What To Do If You Come Upon Maine Wildlife This Summer
It's summer and millions of Mainers and tourists alike are out and about in the great Maine outdoors. It's also a very active time for Maine wildlife. And sometimes people and animals meet. Our friends at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife remind you...if you care, leave them there!
Quite often the young animals are left alone as their parents search for food. People have actually taken these animals thinking they had been abandoned. The MDIFL says:
":If, however, you think an animal may be orphaned, please contact MDIFW staff to see whether that is the case. Please, do not pick it up and take it home. Wild birds and mammals do not make good pets; and it’s against the law to possess them without the proper state and federal permits."
Q: I just found a baby bird that has fallen out of the nest in my backyard. Should I bring it into the house and feed it until it can fly?
A: If you can put a baby bird back into its nest, do so. Human handling typically will not discourage the parents’ return. However, it is normal for some birds to leave the nest before they can fly. The parents keep track of them and feed them during the day. Keep your pets out of the area until the fledgling can fly.
Q: We just cut down a large dead tree, and a nest of squirrels was in it. Should I take care of and feed them?
A: Try to place the young in that portion of the tree where the best was located, or in an undisturbed location as close to the original site as possible. The mother squirrel will come back and relocate her young.
Q: I saw a mother fox hit by a car. Her two kits were huddling by the body. What do I do?
A: Report their location to a local game warden or animal control office. They are qualified to handle the young foxes and can transport them to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You can contact a local, on-duty game warden 24/7 by contact state police dispatch.
Q: I found a fawn while walking in the woods. I picked it up and carried it back with me. Now what do I do?
A: Immediately take the fawn back to the place where you found it. Mother deer leave their fawns in a safe hiding place for a house, usually feeding nearby, and was likely in the vicinity when you intruded! The mother will come back to the same place she left her fawn, in some cases 1 or 2 days after it was disturbed.
Q: A bird crashed into my picture window and seems unable to fly. What should I do?
A: Often, birds are just stunned from the impact with the window. Generally, they recover after a few hours and fly off. If, however, the bird is in danger in its disabled state, you should move it to a protected location, or put it in a large paper grocery bag in a warm, quiet place. When you start to hear it fluttering inside the bag, take it outside and release it. The first and best option for treating any injured wildlife is to place them in a dark, secluded place and leave them alone.
Q: I saw several baby raccoons at the base of a big tree looking “lost and hungry”. Did the mother abandon them?
A: The young racoons are probably just exploring! The mother raccoon has to go off to find food for herself and her young. They will stay close to their den until she returns. Keep your pets inside while the raccoons are around!z
WHO TO CALL:
State Police Dispatch Centers:
To reach a Game Warden 24-hours a day, please contact the dispatch center nearest you.
IFW Regional Headquarters:
Gray Regional Headquarters
RR 1, 358 Shaker Road
Gray, ME 04039
Sidney Regional Headquaters
270 Lyons Road
Sidney, ME 04330
Bangor Regional Headquarters
650 State Street
Bangor, ME 04401
Greenville Regional Headquarters
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, ME 04441
Ashland Regional Headquarters
64 Station Road P.O. Box 447
Ashland, ME 04732