|Barn owls returned to their palm tree nest.|
Young wild animals stand the best chance of living normal lives and surviving as adults if they are raised by wild parents, as opposed to being raised by rehabilitators in a captive environment.
From wild parents, young learn what to eat, where to forage, how to hunt, what to fear, where to shelter. They learn valuable social skills, in some cases their own dialect, and they are allowed time to disperse naturally into their home territory.
No human, no rehabilitation program - not even the best in the world, will ever be a fitting substitute. ~ Rebecca Dmytryk
|Anne Miller presenting on reuniting young raptors.|
The program, attended by 75 participants including representatives from the California Department of Fish and Game, was aimed at empowering rehabilitators to practice reuniting.
Every 'baby season' wildlife hospitals are inundated with 'orphans' - many of which are healthy and should never have been picked up. Some need to be returned to where they were found, others might need a lift back into their original nests, others might need to have their nests totally retrofitted.
|A replacement nest made from a laundry basket.|
Dmytryk's years of hands-on experience has earned her recognition as a leading authority on reuniting wildlife. She has joined up with other leaders in the field to develop guidelines to encourage more and more rehabilitators to adopt the practice.
If we know being raised by wild parents is what's best, then reuniting has got to be part of every rehabilitation program. It mustn't be viewed as an option, but an obligation.Next March, the group plans to speak at the National Association for Wildlife Rehabilitators.
Also at the conference, Dmytryk was acknowledged with a certificate in recognition of her 31 years of service in the field of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.