Encountering Wildlife

What To Do If You Spot Wildlife In Your Yard

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It’s that time of the year when a lot of our local animals are starting to grow their families. Experts tell NBC Connecticut there are some important things to keep in mind if you come across any kind of nest in your yard.

“I think we’re maybe going to be overrun with bunnies," said Tammy Kroll, no stranger to wildlife roaming her West Hartford backyard. This is the first time she’s noticed bunnies taking up residency.

“I started raking and the ground was moving and I was like oh no I hope I didn’t hurt them,” said Kroll.  “And just picked it up and looked and they were squirming in there.”

And nests just like this are very common in Connecticut this time of spring.

“I did not see it at first it’s hard to spot, but our dog wouldn’t leave the spot and kind of was just telling me something was there,” said William Boyles of West Hartford.  “And when I got closer I saw the grass move.”

Experts say if you do find a nest in your yard, you can mark it with something small like a stake or flag or even a little cone. But you never want to cover it with anything that would intimidate the parent bunny and prevent them from coming back to the nest.

“We put up a stake to mark the territory so we know not to go near it or let the dog go near it,” said Boyles. “And we told our mower just to not mow it.”

As cute as they may be, avoid touching the area around the nest. Predators can be attracted to human scent. Do not try and pick the bunnies up.

“When rabbits are young they’re kind of delicate so sometimes if we pick them up or touch them we could end up hurting them by accident,” explained Jenny Dickson, Director of the Wildlife Division for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

In fact, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection encourages residents to leave all infant animals alone. Their motto is "if you care, leave it there."

“Whether it’s a baby fawn that you see in the woods or your yard or it’s the baby bunnies or it’s a fox den or something like that, a small birds nest,” saidDickson.  “Our best bet is to leave them alone because most times the adult female will be somewhere close by.”

But you can always admire from afar.

“I’m hoping I get to see them again,” said Boyles. “I would like to see the little ones like I did last year.”

If you want to learn more about wildlife native to Connecticut and what you should do if you come across any baby animals, just visit https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Wildlife/Wildlife-in-Connecticut

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