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National Wildlife Day is March 3rd. While we usually focus on pets, it’s important to recognize the deep, intrinsic connection between our animal companions and their wild counterparts. With so many species in decline these days, it’s important for all of us to help wildlife and ecosystems when we can. A veterinarian lists some simple ways that you can do that below.
Did you know that kitties hunt billions of small animals every year? Fluffy may look adorably proud of herself when she drops a dead mouse at your feet, and you may not mind your furry pal keeping mice out of your house. However, your tiny lion is actually playing a pretty big role in decimating fragile wildlife populations. Keep your furball inside, and let her indulge her inner predator by hunting catnip mice instead of real ones. (Bonus: kitties are safer indoors anyway.)
Do you have your own place? There are also some things you can do on your own property to help local wildlife. If you have a yard, allow native plants to grow back in part—or even all—of it. Plant colorful, fragrant flowers, which will attract and sustain native bees. If you are in a colder climate, when spring arrives, don’t mow the lawn until the dandelions have passed. These bright flowers, considered a nuisance by many, are actually crucial, as they are the first food for bees, birds, and butterflies. They’re also great in salads! Just don’t eat anything that’s been sprayed with chemicals.
Exotic pets are becoming more and more popular. It’s not hard to see why: many of them are very cute and fascinating. Many people also find it appealing to have an unusual pet. Just be responsible when adopting. Don’t get an animal without doing lots of research to make sure you understand its care needs. Also, only buy from reputable stores or breeders. Unfortunately, there are still black market sellers out there offering animals that were captured from the wild.
Helping wildlife doesn’t mean you have to share your home with squirrels, raccoons, or other critters. Use humane, non-toxic products to evict any unwanted guests you have. Sadly, many larger wild birds, such as owls, hawks, and falcons, are poisoned each year by hunting and eating small animals that ingested toxic rodenticides.
Another thing you can do is just be mindful of wildlife when you are shopping. Choose products that use sustainable resources and eco-friendly practices. When many people start making these small choices, small steps like these can really add up to big changes!
To learn more about World Wildlife Day, and how to help wild animals, click here .
As your local veterinary clinic, we’re here to help. Call us anytime!