1887

Care and hand-rearing of young wild animals

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Abstract

Juvenile wildlife casualties are one of the most common presentations to the veterinary clinic. They may be admitted for a number of reasons, including abandonment, accidental disturbance and cat attack. They will often require care for an appreciable amount of time. There are many considerations that must be explored before attempting to rear juvenile wildlife species. These include housing, time and resources available and, in particular, the potential of malprinting and the knock-on effects this will have on release options and survival rates.

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Figures

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8.1 Incubator with badger cub inside. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.2 It is essential to have a variety of different-sized feeding bottles, syringes, teats and pipettes in stock, as each orphan species may require a different type of equipment for feeding. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.3 Juvenile rabbits () can be individually identified using, for example, correction fluid. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.5 Fox cubs quickly learn to feed from an infant feeding bottle and teat. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.10 Hoglets will initially learn to feed from a syringe with a teat attached. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.11 Older hoglets will lap milk from a bowl. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.13 Deer fawns should also be offered browse from an early age. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.14 Juvenile bats can be housed in a tightly closed plastic vivarium with a towel draped inside for the bat to hang on to. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.15 (a) Juvenile pigeons ( spp.) are often misidentified by members of the public as raptors or herons. (b) Juvenile blackbird (). (c) Juvenile robin (). (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.16 Juvenile house sparrow () housed in an artificial nest made from a plastic tub and lined with paper towels. (Courtesy of Emma Keeble)
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8.17 Fledgling long-tailed tits () showing the gape reflex whilst being fed using a fine paintbrush. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.18 Juvenile crow () in an artificial nest being fed using tweezers. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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8.21 Tawny owl () chick being hand fed. This species may overfeed if offered food . (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)

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