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December 17, 2015     The Woodville Republican
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December 17, 2015
 

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The Woodville Republican, Thursday, December 17, 2015 Page 11 B by Adam Rohnke tent to help a wild animal Urban Wildlife Specialist does not do more harm than MSU Extension Service good for the animal and your- self. Considering the follow- Wild animals are amazing ing steps the next time you for many reasons. Whether encounter an injured or sick it's flying high in the sky, wild animal can help you singing beautiful songs or help wildlife. simply displaying the amaz- Make sure the wild ani- ing colors and patterns of real is actually injured or their feathers or fur, wild sick. creatures attract people. So, Simply finding a young or when we come upon an in- adult animal bedded down jured or sick animal, in most in your yard or in the woods cases, we want to help it any does not mean the animal is way possible, injured. Look for key signs Helping wildlife is a noble such as broken limbs, lacera- act of kindness and often an tions, and erratic or abnor- experience you will carry for mal behavior. If the animal the rest of your life. In fact, is not showing any of these many wildlife biologists, my- signs, let it be. self included, can give credit Reach out to wildlife to these types of experiences professionals. during our formative years If you have determined the as to why we became biolo- animal is sick or injured, the gists, best option is to contact lo- That said, it is important cal wildlife professionals and to make sure your kind in- , avoid direct interaction with the creature. Step one should be to contact the Missis- sippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks at 601- 432-2400 to ask about legal issues surrounding injured wildlife and to request the of- tidal list of Certified Wildlife Rehabilitators throughout /%. < Thanks for being an important part of our year. It's been a pleasure serving you, and we greatly appreciate your business. Merry Christmas! McGraw' s Accounting & Tax Service Woodvillc the state. You can also reach out to your Mississippi State Uni- versity Extension Service county office for additional information about the species of concern. Contact informa- tion is online at http://msu- cares.corn/. Before calling for assistance, understand that in some situations involving injured wildlife, the anhnal cannot be saved or helped. Survey the scene before interacting. Ensure your own safety and the safety of others be- fore interacting with an injured wild animal. Some- times no action is the best ac- tion for all involved. Injured or sick wildlife will still de- fend themselves or flee when approached. It is very easy for the human helper to get kicked, bitten, scratched or wounded in some other way when working with a wild animal. Fleeing animals can be injured further or killed. For example, an animal in- jured on a road can re-enter the highway when fleeing a Good Samaritan and cause additional accidents and in- jury. Here's what to do if you choose direct interaction. Although not advised, many people will choose to take direct action to help. If you do so, wear gloves and wash any part of the body that comes in contact with the animal or its bodily flu- ids. In most cases, especially when dealing with large- and medium-sized animals, such as white-tailed deer, coyotes, hawks, raccoons, skunks and squirrels, it is best to contact local wildlife professionals. Wild animals may look cute, but they can and will kick, scratch and bite, causing sig- nificant harm and possible exposure to disease for the handler. Small birds often can be helped as long as the handler is wearing leather gloves. A stunned or slow-moving bird can be placed in a dark and well-ventilated box or cloth bag for 30 to 45 minutes to recuperate. The darkness calms the bird down and al- lows it to regroup before be- ing released. A broken leg is not always lethal, especially for songbirds. Many one- legged birds live a frill life in the wild. On the other hand, if you encounter a bird with a broken wing, contact a local rehabilitator or wildlife pro- fessional for help, as this type of injury often prevents birds from being released back into the wild. Finally, you can do a lot to prevent wildlife injury around your home and com- munity. At home, especially around the holidays, you can reduce injurious events by smart placement of lighting to reduce chewing of wires by small mammals. Avoid us- ing decorations such as fake spider webs that can eas- ily entangle animals. At the community level, defensive driving in known wildlife crossing areas and simple re- moval of harmful litter, such as six-pack rings and used fishing line, can go a long way in reducing potential for injuries. Happy fs to You Merry Christmas, and thanks for your patronage. 5ervinO our (ooperative Members We'd Like to Shout It From the Rooftops: "Merry We hope your holiday is merry, bright and magical. Thanks for being great neighbors and customers! Christmas, Everyone! t Whetstone's Auto & Small Engine Repair Centreville