PROVIDENCE – Spring has sprung, and for many wildlife species in Rhode Island, that means it's time to raise their young. In May and June, sightings of deer fawns, fox kits, songbird chicks, bunnies, and baby squirrels become more common and generate concerned calls from the public to the Department of Environmental Management's (DEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Often, young animals that appear abandoned or in danger are perfectly fine, and merely need to be left alone and given space. However, there are some instances where animals do need additional help from humans and potential veterinary attention.
A virtual program set for Thursday, May 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. will provide participants with the knowledge to determine when an intervention is necessary to help young wildlife, as well as best practices to maintain human and wildlife safety and health. DEM Wildlife Outreach staff will be joined by staff from the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island (WRARI) to share information and answer questions.
"We always appreciate public concern for our wildlife, especially vulnerable, young animals," said Mary Gannon, DEM Wildlife Outreach Coordinator. "However, sometimes folks can become overly concerned and get too close to little critters who really just need peace and quiet and to be left alone, and this can cause unnecessary stress to the animal. It's our hope that in collaboration with WRARI, this program will help Rhode Islanders understand when animals need assistance, and the best way they can help."
To register for the program, visit: https://forms.gle/mu2EhCCxMoTjQWa68
If residents find an injured wild animal, they can always contact WRARI at 401-294-6363 for assistance. To report an animal that appears sick or is acting abnormally, contact DEM's Division of Law Enforcement at 401-222-3070.
For more information on Rhode Island's wildlife, visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/ Follow the Division of Fish and Wildlife on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RIFishwildlife/ and Instagram (@RI.FishandWildlife) for timely updates.