They say ‘God can’t be present everywhere, so they made Mother’. And where even the mother is absent there is Wildlife SOS.
Wildlife SOS has been long serving as the mother to a lot of orphaned wildlife! Be it the ferocious carnivores like leopards and tigers or the more docile and silent ones like antelopes. Fostering is a difficult process whereby we try to make up for a lost parent, and try and keep the new born as close to survival as possible.
There are various ways in which a parent is lost. In case of larger mammals it’s usually that the infant gets lost, trapped or chased away by feral and likes. Sometimes the parent gets killed and the infant gets poached, being later used for cruelty and barbaric practices as with Sloth bears, Parakeets and Monkeys.
In mammals, fostering is a difficult task, as one has to ensure adequate milk and nutrition is provided in the most natural means. Sometimes another animal is used to foster the babies viz. dogs suckling leopards, hyenas etc is not unheard of. This makes the bond stronger and survival chances higher.
Once the initial feeding and vulnerable stage is passed, a more difficult stage of training and preparing for release begins. The training is achieved using enrichments and captive habitats resembling those of the natural. Hiding places, rocks, branches, logs etc. simulate a natural environment and encourage the young one to scratch, climb, jump and other activities that it does normally.
In birds, commoner causes include falling from the nest, or destroying of the nest either due to natural causes or anthropogenic factors. In such cases usually the whole brood gets abandoned. Barn owls are one of the common examples of such cases, when the offender usually cleans out the whole nest chasing away the mother and leaving behind the chicks to die. It’s the most difficult situation as the owls need special care during feeding and cleaning owing to their weird eating habits.
Wildlife SOS has successfully fostered, reared and released animals and birds like, leopards, hyenas, bears, bar owls, crocodiles etc. To support more such endeavors click here.