GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Almost like clockwork, when spring hit, the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center in Gautier began getting calls about baby animals in distress.
"Spring has sprung, which always starts us off with baby animals," said Director Alison Sharpe. "We've gotten a couple of different species of baby owls in so far. We just recently had a baby beaver brought to us, we've gotten baby doves, baby mockingbirds, so it's started. Welcome to baby season 2018."
Sharpe and her team prepare for this every year.
"Especially with the little baby birds, first of all, we always encourage to try to get them back into the nest, if they are young enough that they need to be in a nest," Sharpe said. "If they can't, we have them pick them up and put them in a quiet, warm place, in a little cardboard box. Cover the box, keep it dark. It reduces the stress for the baby, and give us a call."
The center attempts to get every baby animal rehabilitated and back into the wild as soon as possible.
If you come across an animal in distress, you can help not necessarily by what you do, but more importantly, what you don't do.
"Do not feed or give fluids to any baby that you find," she said. "So many of those babies come to us with respiratory problems after that's happened and a lot of times, we can't reverse that. So even though it may be hungry, screaming for food, please please please don't feed them."
Of course, because of the increased call volume this time of year, manpower is always a concern.
"Because this is our spring time, and we're going to start getting lots of calls coming in, we are desperately looking for volunteers," said Sharpe. "Maybe not to stay with us through the entire year, of course that's always a welcome thing, but if you have some time on your hands and you'd like to help us out, please give us a call because we're always looking for people who can help."
If you'd like to volunteer, you can call Wildlife Care and Rescue at (228) 669-2737.