Ramona wildlife center rescues orphaned skunks, baby owls
Six orphaned skunks and several baby owls are among the latest clients at The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona.
The baby skunks were abandoned at a National City school after school officials, unaware of the litter, saw an adult skunk on campus, viewed it as a threat to students, and had it trapped and taken away.
Several days later the school discovered the babies, called for help, and the wildlife center took them in, the Humane Society of the United States reported.
The owls that the center rescued range in age from two weeks to three months. Like skunks, who typically have their litters in March or April, nesting season for owls is usually spring, said Ali Crumpacker with the wildlife center. Tree trimming often scares baby owls and they jump out of their nests, she said, adding that this is not the best time to trim trees because nesting season ends Sept. 15.
While there is no law against trimming trees during nesting season, Crumpacker said, “It is illegal to purposely and knowingly cut out an active nest.”
In this past year, The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center has received more than 50 skunks from throughout Southern California that needed medical or rehabilitative attention, and most have similar stories, the organization said.
“In many cases, people think they are doing the right thing by having their animal neighbors trapped and placed elsewhere, when in reality, trapping is rarely the answer,” stated the humane society. “If the school would have called the wildlife center first, they could have provided guidance on how to encourage the skunks to move away from the property, allowing the family to stay together and preventing the mother from being thrown into an unfamiliar environment, without her kits. Although the orphaned skunks are being cared for, their own mother would have been more apt to raise them.”
The skunks are ready to be released to the wild, and the wildlife center is seeking a new home for them. State law requires that rescued wildlife must be returned within three miles of the original rescue site and only on land that has the homeowner’s approval.
While no skunks have been rescued from Ramona recently, Crumpacker said, “We’re always looking for release sites.” Such sites should be at least five acres, she added.
While attempts will be made to put the owls back in their nest, sometimes that is not successful, Crumpacker explained.
To view a video of the skunk siblings playing together, click here
Any property owners interested in possibly offering a release site may call 760-789-2324 and an application form will be provided.
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