Howell Nature Center prepares for busy season as warmer weather comes

Published: May. 8, 2018 at 5:36 PM EDT
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(5/8/2018) - Spring is in full bloom here in Mid-Michigan. But flowers aren't the only things that start coming out with the warmer weather.

"May is here and baby season has hit us full force," said Dana DeBenham, the Wildlife Director at Howell Nature Center. She and her staff are getting ready for their busiest time of the year.

"This is the time of the year when wild life is either giving birth or laying their eggs and that's when we start to see some of these guys coming in for help," added DeBenham.

The Howell Nature Center is Michigan's largest wildlife rehabilitation center and last year took in over four thousand injured and orphaned birds, mammals and reptiles. The Center's goal is to help these animals recover and get back out into the wild.

But often the Nature Center must take in animals that people tried to raise themselves.

"Its human nature when you see an adorable wild baby to want to take care of it and assume it's abandoned or orphaned. It's not usually the case," said DeBenham.

But sometimes this does more harm than good. Many of the animals, such as deer or foxes that find permanent homes at the Nature Center are a result of humans trying to keep them as pets. But the danger presents itself when they no longer want the animal and try to release them back into the wild after being domesticated.

DeBenham had one simple request if you are to find an animal you think may need help.

"If you find a baby, please call us for help. We have a help line and we can give you advice. You never want to take care of them on your own,” said DeBenham. “It's illegal and it's very, very specialized care, very special formulas and it's quite complicated. So there's a reason it's illegal to care for them."

About half of the animals Howell nature Center will see are during these three months of baby season. And with the wind and storms that came through Mid-Michigan last week the staff had many baby animals come through.

So just remember next time you see an animal in the wild think twice before trying to help it, and leave the job for the professionals, like the ones at Howell Nature Center.