Busch Wildlife Sanctuary: Wild animals often best left alone instead of being rescued

JUPITER, Fla. - Animal experts are urging caution when it comes to people trying to rescue local wildlife.

Jupiter's Busch Wildlife Sanctuary says on average around 500 animals a month are brought to them, but experts say many would be better off left in the wild.

"We can never teach them like their mother can," says David Hitzig of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary.

Hitzig says people shouldn't rush to judgment if they find a baby animal in their backyard.

He says people need to make sure the animal's family is not around.  Many times people will end up kidnapping an animal from its parents when they think they are helping it.

"If we can keep the baby and its mother together, allow them to be raised naturally in the wild, they will ultimately have a much better chance at survival," Hitzig says.

Hitzig says it's a bad idea to bring the animal into your home. It can be dangerous to the animal if it isn't handled properly. It can also be dangerous to you and your family if it's an animal that could carry diseases like rabies.

Hitzig recommends getting in touch with experts, like Busch Wildlife , if you come across an animal you think needs help.

It's also important to make sure any information you get online is accurate.

"What people need to realize is a lot of times there is a lot more misinformation," Hitzig says. "I always tell people to give us a call.  We would be more than happy to give them the true facts when it comes to baby animals, orphan animals and injured animals."

Other resources for dealing with animals:

* Palm Beach County

* Martin County

* St. Lucie County

* Indian River County

* Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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