Baby season for local wildlife became official recently with the arrival of the first baby cottontail rabbits at Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s San Diego Wildlife Center (SDWC) in Carlsbad. The bunnies are being joined by squirrels, hawks, raccoons, owls, and other wildlife. In preparation for the influx of baby animals, SDWC will hold its first “baby shower” to collect supplies and other donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 9.

“Wildlife babies are really difficult for humans to raise,” said SDWC Director Trish Jackman. “Baby rabbits are extremely hard to raise away from their mother. Mothers leave the nest alone all day and only come to feed at dawn and dusk. Well-intentioned people sometimes ‘rescue’ baby wildlife that doesn’t need their help, and would be possibly be better off left alone.”

“Wildlife babies also have specific needs when something happens and they end up being raised by humans. That’s why we’re holding the baby shower and asking for presents. Please check our website. There’s a list of items we’re going to need as more and more babies arrive in the coming days, weeks, and months. We’re also accepting financial donations so we can purchase items we need that are not donated. A heated blanket or bag of bird food can save lives,” Jackman said.

“We’re here to help anyone who finds what they think to be abandoned baby wildlife. The first thing to do is determine whether or not the babies need assistance. The public can find help on our website at www.sdwildlife.org. There are tips for how to tell if the mom is still around, but out of site. She could be just a few feet away, hiding for her safety and the safety of her babies. Please do not try to care for them by yourself.”

As for those cottontails (the first babies to arrive), they’re being hand-fed and will eventually be released back into the wild. In the meantime, Jackman added, “We’ll make sure they don’t get too attached to us…and we don’t get too attached to them.”

For more information about Rancho Coastal Humane Society’s SDWC and the baby shower visit www.sdwildlife.org, “like” SDWildlifeCenter on Facebook, visit the center at 2380 Camino Vida Roble, Unit G, or call 760-621-6888.