People are noticing a number of wildlife in certain places where they are not commonly found.
“With people at home and less concerned about getting to the next place, they’re noticing more wildlife in their yards, and when animals are in trouble, we’re getting a lot of orphans,” Stastny, executive director of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, told Omaha World-Herald.
300 babies were brought to the organization’s facilities in western Douglas County in just the first five days of May this year. Normally, they receive 1,000 animals in a whole month.
“If the current pace holds through May, we’ll be close to 2,000 and that’s a big deal,” she added.
Some animals genuinely need to be rescued, but there are some humans who nab wildlife.
“We love that people are out there looking for wildlife, but we only want those in real need,” Stastny said. “If those baby bunnies don’t need to come in, they shouldn’t come in. Their mothers still do a better job than we can.”
Stastny noted a number of factors on what led to the increased sightings and rescues:
- People have more time to be observant, and many are not copped up at work, so they’re spending more time at home, where they are more likely to see backyard wildlife.
- Spring is the time of year when wild animals become more active, so they have become more visible at the same time that people have become more watchful.
- This spring could be producing a bit of a baby boom thanks to the relatively mild winter. The warmer, drier-than-usual winter would have made it easier for animals to survive and forage, resulting in higher reproductive success.
The rehab said they are seeing a high number of squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, beavers and some songbirds.
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