SUMMIT HILL, Pa. -- Spring is here, and that means baby animals are arriving.
Staff members at one local wildlife rescue center tell us they'll see a huge influx of newborn creatures coming through the doors, but often, those animals would have been just fine if humans had left them alone.
If you see a newborn animal alone, you might assume it's an orphan and try to help by taking it to a wildlife center, but experts say that's not always the right thing to do.
Spring is the busy season for Susan Gallagher and the team of naturalists at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center.
"We will see 500 to 600 animals this year, this summer, coming through the door," said naturalist Franklin Klock.
The team recently rescued a severely injured raven that had at least three chicks in her nest. The raven's wingtip had to be amputated, so she won't be able to fly again. She will become a permanent resident at the conservation center.
But there's no need to worry about her chicks.
"The good news with ravens is both parents take an active role in caring for the young," Klock explained.
While some doves did need to be rescued, the staff at the wildlife center says it's important for all of us to know that not every baby animal we see on its own needs human help.
"We've had people walk through the door with fawns, with baby robins, with baby squirrels, and there's nothing wrong with these animals. They need to go back where they came from, so you just wasted a lot of time and a lot of gas, and stressed that animal as well, for no reason," said chief naturalist Susan Gallagher.
If you're not sure whether an animal needs human intervention, call your local wildlife center and ask before you touch the creature. Making sure humans only help the animals that really need help allows rescuers to focus on the animals that really do need help.
"They're really intelligent birds. They'll die of boredom in captivity, so we're really trying to make her stay here as comfortable and interesting as possible," Gallagher said.
If you'd like to help the environmental education center, they can always use cash donations and small children's toys for the birds.