News / Edmonton

Leave wild animals alone, says Edmonton Humane Society

The Edmonton Human Society is asking residents to leave wild animals, in particular bunnies, where they are if they come across them in the city.

On Monday, six young hares were brought to the EHS shelter after a resident suspected that their mother abandoned them.

But hares will often leave their young during the day to protect them; if she stayed, her scent could attract predators, according to the Edmonton Humane Society.  She comes back to feed them at dusk or dawn.

Now because the young hares were separated from their mother, they’ve been transferred to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton (WRSE) to save their lives.

While these and many other wild animals are brought to EHS and WRSE with good intentions, the outcome could be deadly for babies separated from their mothers, says the EHS.

“People really mean well. They think that they’re saving a life but in reality they are kidnapping these babies and it’s so sad,” said Edmonton Humane Society Spokesperson Shawna Randolph.

“Wild baby animals are not our expertise so as part of a solid partnership; the baby hares that come to us end up being transferred over to the WRSE and temporarily cared for.”

Once the WRSE takes in the baby hare and its mother is believed to be alive, the baby will be returned to where it was found as soon as possible if the location is known. If it’s truly orphaned, the WRSE will take care of the hare until its old enough to live in the wild alone.

If anyone suspects a mother hare abandoned a baby or died, call the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton hotline at 780-914-4118 or the 24 Hour Help Line at 1-888-924-2444.

EHS and WRSE advise anyone who comes across baby wildlife this spring to keep the following in mind:

  • If you find a young hare with no obvious injuries, leave it alone or put it back where they found it because mom is nearby;
  • Once the baby has been put back, mom will relocate her babies within 24 hours and the mom will not reject the baby because you touched it;
  • It is against the law to keep a wild animal. Don’t try to raise it on your property;
  • Baby hares are extremely high stress animals and do very poorly in captivity. The best chance for its survival is to be reunited with its mom.

More on