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Good advice. Especially if the "orphaned" animal is a bear cub in a tree. They're cute as hell but odds are mama bear sent Junior up the tree due to a perceived danger. Getting between that tree and an irate Mama Bear could ruin your whole day.
Some time back Owatonnabill spotted a hen mallard followed by a line of about 10 ducklings marching in precise order up a road. Not a wise move on Mama Duck's part as the road was narrow and hilly, and a car coming over a hill would be hard-pressed to stop or swerve in time to avoid squashing Mama and kiddies. So in the spirit of correcting things I sought to rectify the situation. First I tried picking up Mama and pointing her in the opposite direction. Didn't work--as soon as I put her down she marched back to her place at the front of the line and resumed her trek, youngsters dutifully marching and quacking behind her. Next I tried spiriting away a couple of the duckings and putting them down in an area removed from traffic under the assumption that Mama and brood would march on over to the isolated ducklings and wander on off in a more safe direction. Again--didn't work. Mama simply stopped the line and waited: the two isolated duckings wandered on back to the line and again the group set off. Finally, I figured that the ducklings would follow mama wherever, so if I picked her up and carried her in the direction I wanted the group to go, the ducklings would follow. Again, no dice. Mama didn't seem to mind being carried but as soon as I picked her up and started off, the ducklings just started to wander aimlessly in the middle of the road, this time in circles. I finally admitted defeat, put Mama down and watched as she single-mindedly started marching up the road again, with family forming a precise line behind her. I checked the road later in the day and found no squashed ducklings, so Mama must have been successful. Nature is a funny thing.
I had the rare privilege to volunteer at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville for a few years. It's a great organization. And there's nothing as moving as watching a recovered animal be set free into the wild again. Keep up the good work!
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