Baby animals are busting out in Metro Parks

BRANDON NOVOTNY, Park Ranger Prairie Oaks

Baby animals are everywhere in the Metro Parks. like this fawn at Sharon Woods
A fawn alone at Sharon Woods Metro Park, but the parents will be close by. (Cheryl Blair)

Spring brings a deluge of baby animals to our Metro Parks, as birds and wildlife nest and raise their offspring. Coming upon any animal baby is one of the unplanned pleasures that await you on a walk in your park.

It’s often hard for people to resist rescuing a baby bird or fawn when, in fact, these animals are perfectly fine. Unless the animal is truly orphaned or injured, there is no need to intervene. Below are some ways to navigate your way around wildlife and appreciate these wonderful creatures.

  1. If you’re lucky enough to see a newborn animal, especially a fawn, lying alone and quiet, please leave it be. Mother deer leave their babies alone all day and only come back to feed them at dawn and dusk to deter predators.
  2. If you see a baby bird on the ground hopping, look closer. If it has feathers, it’s probably a fledgling learning to fly. Again, please leave it alone as the parents are nearby. If it doesn’t have feathers, find the nest and quickly put the bird back in it.
    Baby animals are everywhere in Metro Parks, like these 13 goslings swimming on Three Creeks Metro Park's Turtle Pond with two adult geese
    Canada geese and young goslings swim along the shore at Three Creeks’ Turtle Pond. (Cherie Tolliver)
  3. Watch out for those pesky Canada geese. It’s breeding season and they’re highly territorial and will aggressively defend their nests and young. So please, step lightly when you encounter them.
  4. When kids encounter newborn baby animals, a whole new world of wonder opens up.  As a kid, I was obsessed with tadpoles that lived in my backyard creek. I watched the eggs turn into tadpoles and the tadpoles grow into frogs. Bring your kids to a park wildlife program or spend the morning in the woods. Open your eyes and ears and witness the world of nature.
    A young boy holds a bullfrog at Inniswood Metro Gardens during a program to introduce kids to wildlife and baby animals
    A young boy holds a bullfrog at Inniswood Metro Gardens during a program to introduce kids to the thrill of encountering wildlife in the parks. (Barbara Nye)
  5. Finally, never ever keep a new baby animal as a pet. They are wild and are meant to grow up in the wild. Their best chance at survival is with their mother.

Please share your encounters with critters in the wild!!!

2 thoughts on “Baby animals are busting out in Metro Parks

    1. Cristy, thanks for reading our blog and for the great link to ODNR for more information about this topic.

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