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Sunday

April 2014

20

Wildlife In Need Center urges you to call before you 'kidnap'

The Wildlife In Need Center (WINC) is launching a new public awareness campaign, Call Before You Kidnap, which will shed light on the damage caused by separating young wildlife from their parents.

The public is invited to attend one of three free seminars to be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 or April 13, and 11 a.m. March 23, at their wildlife rehabilitation facility, S1480 S. Waterville Road Suite B, Oconomowoc.

Even though one of the primary tasks of wildlife rehabilitation is caring for orphaned wildlife, not all baby animals that are encountered in the wild have been abandoned. Many well-meaning nature lovers come across infant wildlife and remove them from their natural surroundings, unaware of the damage they are doing to the species they are trying to protect.

Every year, the staff and volunteers at WINC must devote resources to caring for these animals, which would have had no trouble surviving on their own if left in the care of their parents.

The goal of WINC's CallBefore You Kidnap program is to educate the public on how to recognize when an infant animal truly needs human help - and when it is best to leave them be.

The WINC hotline receives more than 10,000 calls a year (more than 25 every day) from people who have encountered injured or abandoned wildlife. The hotline is staffed by experts who know every species of animal commonly found in Wisconsin and can determine the best course of action. Through the Call Before You Kidnap program, WINC hopes to help people identify when animals should be left alone, and when baby animals truly have been orphaned and need help.

While these animals are cared for and eventually returned to the wild, they put a strain on the scarce resources at the centerWhen wild animals are removed from their natural surroundings unnecessarily, it inevitably lowers their chances for survival.

Seating is limited; RSVP to (262) 965-3090 Ext 101. For more information, visit www.helpingwildlife.org.

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