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Wildlife rescue facility urges people to be cautious of handling wild animal babies

SAN ANTONIO – Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Inc. is urging people in the city of San Antonio to be aware that this is the season when a lot of wild animal babies are being born and will be noticed.

Kelly McCoy, director of operations, said some 1,000 animals are being cared for at the facility. Many of them are babies that were brought to the facility for rehabilitation.

"We see this far too often, where animals are brought to us that really didn't need our help," McCoy said. "That human interference caused them to be in this unnatural setting."

Some 600 animals live permanently on the 216-acre Kendalia ranch. But the staff members work hard to try to get most of those animals they receive back to the wild.

"Our goal is to minimize the contact that we have," McCoy said. "This is a really crucial age for them. This is when they would be learning from mom. Our goal is to keep them healthy and help them grow and be wild. "

The recent case of two bobcats taken from the wild and were mistaken for domesticated kittens highlights the importance of getting Wildlife Refuge and Rehab's message across: leave any animal in their habitat.

"Because these animals were handled, we missed that really fragile window of opportunity to reunite her (mother) with them, and that's the risk you get when you are feeding wild animals. When you try to interfere with nature, you put yourself and your animals at risk," McCoy said.

Those who have problems with wildlife in their backyards can seek ways to steer them away in a safe and natural setting, McCoy said.

Here are some ideas she offered:

  • Keep your small animals and pets inside at night.

  • Soak tennis balls in ammonia and place them around your deck or home.

  • Pour a lot of cayenne pepper around plants that you don't want wildlife to dig around.

  • Leave a radio on in the backyard to keep nocturnal animals away.

  • Use a light or lamp on your porch that's over 500 watts to deter animals that don't want to be around humans.

  • Most importantly, do not remove wildlife from their habitat. Call Wildlife Refuge and Rehab first. They will walk you through what to do.

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