DNR officials caution well-meaning citizens not to “rescue” seemingly helpless, abandoned baby wild animals they find while enjoying the outdoors. A wildlife information specialist with the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife says many animals leave their young alone while searching for food and come back to them throughout the day. Michelle Cain adds that picking up animals can be harmful to both animals and people, and removing animals from their natural habitat is illegal. If you believe an animal is truly abandoned or injured, Cain says you should call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or DNR Law Enforcement. They are reachable 24-hours a day at 812-837-9536. If a bird has fallen out of its nest, Cain says it’s OK to gently put it back. If you’re unsure if an animal is orphaned, check on it periodically. If you’re still unsure, place some strings or sticks across the nest. If they are disturbed, it’s a good sign that the mother returned.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.