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Rescuing wild animals: When intervention is justified

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A story caught attention on merit: when should wildlife professionals intervene to assist wild animals? Americans always want to come to the aid of the national bird, the bald eagle. Reasons include that it is an endangered specie, and it is a national treasure. Endangered species and those that are in threatened condition get priority attention. For instance, the climate has warmed to such an extent that moose living in Minnesota are threatened. They succumb to diseases that increase in warm conditions. They will likely go extinct.

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A snowy owl was discovered roosting in downtown DC near the White House last winter. It was on its migration path and had a stopover. It was struck by a Metro bus and was rescued and nursed to recovery before being released. Should the owl have been left to die because it chose such a dangerous flight pattern?

Eagles chose to nest in a tree surrounded by high rise office buildings in downtown DC last March. National Geographic set up a webcam so that people could watch the chicks develop. That site isn’t the safest place for eagles, but they do seem to think so.

Ducks also chose the headquarters of National Geographic to lay eggs and care for the brood by near the front door atrium entrance. Some of the baby ducks survive the urban environment, and find it sufficient to return to have a new brood. Should naturalists intervene to relocate them?

The issue is truly a matter of local priorities, resources, and the status of species.

“Rescue of Injured Eagle Sparks Nationwide Debate Over Wildlife Intervention
Posted by: Chelsea Alves 1 min ago

A nationwide debate began over U.S. wildlife intervention when officials rescued an injured eagle that was suffering from a broken wing. The injured eagle was part of a nest of eaglets that were being broadcasted to thousands of people all over the world.

On the other hand, a moose was found in pain from an open wound where its tail should have been in Minnesota. Wildlife experts agreed that it was a result of a wolf attack and chose to leave it alone.

These types of natural events in the wild highlight a nationwide issue that’s common all throughout the country: when should we let nature take its course and when is it appropriate to intervene?

“It depends on the circumstances in each case, and often it depends on how man has affected the situation,” Dough Inkley, a senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation said, according to The Associated Press.

Though every animal is needed to maintain genetic diversity, Inkley and other biologists prefer leaving it up to nature’s wisdom, though intervention can occur with endangered species or when humans caused the problem, says AP.”




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