Tag Archives: wildlife

Find an injured or orphaned animal? Read this

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

By “rescuing” an injured or apparently abandoned baby wild animal, you may doing the opposite of what you seek to accomplish, and break the law.

This time of year, thousands of animals are born in the wild. With the spread of suburban areas into their natural habitats, young animals are increasingly born near humans, who are more apt to discover them without an adult animal nearby. When this happens, a few reminders are especially pertinent.

While some baby animals may be orphaned or abandoned, that’s not always true.

Picking up a baby animal that is not orphaned or abandoned is not only usually unnecessary, it can be bad for the animal. It’s also illegal if you don’t have the proper permit or take the animal straight to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Such animals also pose safety and health risks for humans. They may look helpless, cute and cuddly, but they can bite or scratch people who attempt to handle them. Some wild animals carry parasites and infectious diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans.

“The apparent lack of an adult does not mean a young animal is orphaned,” said Linnea Petercheff, operations staff specialist for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Adults often leave their young alone, safe in nests or dens while they forage for food, but rarely do they abandon their young.”

If a bird has fallen out of a nest, it is OK to gently return it to the nest. The best way to make sure an animal is truly orphaned is to wait and check it periodically. If you are unsure, place some strings or sticks across the nest. Place some grass across the top of a rabbit nest that is found with young in it.

If such items are later disturbed, the mother has probably returned. In such a situation, leave the young animal alone. The adult will return after you leave the area.  As an example, rabbits often come to the nest to feed their young only a couple of times a day.

The best way to make sure that a fawn that appears to be alone is truly orphaned is to wait and check it periodically.  Before taking any action, remember the following:

  • If the fawn is not injured, the mother is likely nearby.
  • Leave the fawn alone and its mother will probably come and get it. Deer can take better care of their young than a human can.
  • Human scent on the fawn will not prevent the mother from taking care of it.
  • If you do not see any deer nearby, have someone watch the fawn without being seen by the mother. In most cases, the mother will come back and get the fawn after you leave the area.

If you believe the mother has not returned to a nest or a deer has not come back to feed her fawn, or you know that the mother is no longer alive, call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator listed at: www.wildlife.in.gov.

Remember, state laws prohibit keeping protected wild animals without a permit. Most species of wildlife are protected by law and cannot be kept as a pet. Federal laws also prohibit possession of migratory birds, including songbirds, raptors and waterfowl. It is even illegal to treat wild animals for sickness or injury without a permit.

Wild animal rehabilitation permits are issued to qualified individuals who take in sick, injured, or orphaned wild animals with the intent of releasing them back into the wild.

If you encounter an injured, truly abandoned or sick wild animal, do one of the following for assistance:

  • Check the DNR website, www.wildlife.in.gov and click on “Wildlife Rehabilitation”
  • Call the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife in Indianapolis, (317) 232-4080.
  • Call your DNR law enforcement district headquarters or regional headquarters; contact information is at: http://www.in.gov/dnr/lawenfor/2755.htm
  • Call a licensed veterinarian for immediate assistance with a sick or severely injured wild animal.

Link to press release


Fort Wayne Duckling Rescue

Several years ago we wrote that, even though we are a standard-issue male who can only get in touch with their feelings via exploratory surgery, there is one thing that always makes us smile: baby ducks.

We caught a considerable amount of flack over the article, with various so-called friends going out of their way to make sure that we were roundly ridiculed for our love of the little fluffy ducklings.

As we’ve grown older, we’ve become more cynical, jaded and world-worn.

But I still love baby ducks.

That’s why we immediately read the following story:

Dealership’s duckling rescue causes a flap | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN.


photo: Kim Newberg

Lake Huron: Walleye Capital?

They are calling it the revenge of the walleye.

In a column by Port Huron (Mich.) Time-Herald outdoor writer Micheal Eckert, he discussed the incredible collapse of the chinook salmon fishery that has happened over the last few years due to the quagga mussels.

The quagga mussel has overun all of the great lakes except Lake Superior and has dramatically changed the entire massive ecosystem.  Now, water throughout the region is far clearer as the ravenous and abundant mussels eat every last bit of plankton and filter away everything in the water except the hydrogen and oxygen molecules.  They even out-compete the dreaded zebra mussel.

When all the food has been vacuumed out of the water, baitfish and large predators such as salmon have a tough time.    However, fisherman are starting to find that there is a small silver lining to all this messed-up biology: the walleye fishing on Lake Huron is coming on strong due to a one-two lucky punch.

On one hand, adult chinook are not gobbling up young walleye as rapidly.  On the other, walleye have quickly adapted to a new food source in the Round Gobie.

Gobies are another invasive species that are out-competing native fishes but apparently walleye (and lake trout) are finding the spiny little fish quite tasty.

Who knows; at the rate things are changing in ten years we’ll be fishing for Marlin off Michigan City while Sandusky will be plagued by giant mutant eels

Read more:

Michael Eckert: Walleye numbers increase | The Times Herald | thetimesherald.com.

It’s officially summer: the mosquitoes have attacked

We hereby declare that summer is officially open for business: we were eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Last evening was beautiful so we took our laptop onto the back patio to enjoy a bit of al fresco journalism.   While surfing along the Internet on Wifi, we suddenly felt a sharp pin-prick behind our right ear.  A quick slap and our fingertips returned bloodied with the squished body of a winged-vampire.  It was the first mosquito of the season.

We chalked it off as the first of many such encounters in the coming year but went back to our internet perusal.  Shortly thereafter, a sharp sting on the back of our ankle.  A slap and another score but suddenly a horde of the foul insects descended, driving us indoors in a mad frenzy of slapping and scratching.

Ahhhh, summer!


photo: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Duck makes nest in Mishawaka parking lot

It’s not unusual to see mom and the kids at the mall, but it is noteworthy when the mother in question is wearing nothing but feathers.

In Mishawaka, a female duck has made a nest in front of the Barnes & Noble store at University Park Mall.   The duck has become a local celebrity and even been featured on South Bend television.

Read more:

Duck makes home in Mishawaka mall parking lot – Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports.



photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

OH NO! Coyotes in Carmel?!!??

To quote Marlon Brando from the end of Apocolypse Now, “The horror, the horror.”

The horror of which we speak is the outrage of coyotes eating pets in Carmel.

Yes!  Sound the alarm, raise a hue and cry because mangy members of the wildlife community are snatching up pets for dinner!  Please note the sarcasm oozing from the edges of our keyboard.

Perhaps we’re being too hard on the poor pet owners but according to this story on Indianapolis television station WTHR, the owners are outraged that their pooch was purloined and that no one will do anything about it.  “Unacceptable” is the word they used.

What they have deemed unacceptable is that wildlife officials and local law enforcement won’t do anything to solve their problem.  Essentially they were told, “The coyote was doing what coyotes do.”

Well; Yes, Virginia, welcome to the great circle of life.

While we commiserate with the pet owners who witnessed what was undoubtedly a gruesome attack, the fact remains that wild animals sometimes kill and eat other animals, including our precious pug or cantankerous house cat.

After all, though I am unsure where the victims live, most of Carmel was a farm field even in our limited memory.  Odds are that the coyotes were plying their trade long before suburbanites invaded their territory with basketball goals, crabgrass killer and small, delicious pets.

Of course the trite concern of “What about the children?!!?” was raised.

In case anyone in Carmel happens to read this posting, let me assure you that your own dog poses far more danger to your toddler than coyotes.  This is based upon the the statistics that show approximately three million children are bitten by dogs every year, in the 1990’s about 300 people were killed by domestic dogs while according to one author, there have only been about 30 coyote attacks on people in recorded history.

We were fortunate, several years ago, to live outside of the city limits when a large male coyote/dog mix began stalking our new English setter puppy in the backyard in broad daylight.  On the third day, he recieved a single large-caliber rifle bullet for his trouble.

That too is part of the circle of life.

It’s not “Disneyfied” but that’s how real life works.

Story link:

Family pet killed by coyote in Carmel neighborhood – 13 WTHR.


photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service