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Wildlife rehab centre seeing increase in babies

Conservation officers say "If you see a baby hare, leave it right there." (Courtesy: Facebook, Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation)

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation is very busy these days.

Its wildlife rehabilitation centre has admitted 641 patients so far, most of them wildlife babies.

Spokesperson Holly Duval says the mild spring has resulted in earlier births this year.

“We see over 1,000 wildlife babies admitted to our clinic every year. They can range from jack rabbits, songbirds, baby skunks, baby squirrels to an assortment of different species. One of the most frequent babies we see each year are white tail prairie hares, jackrabbits,” she said.

Conservation officers are warning the public to be cautious around young hares.

Because the animals are born very independent, their mothers intentionally leave them alone throughout the day, and trying to “rescue” them can often do them more harm than good.

Duvall says 2016 patient numbers have increased close to 70 per cent compared to last year.