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As spring approaches, here are ways to help keep wildlife safe and out of rehab centers

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa (KYW Newsradio) — As wildlife rehabilitation experts in the Philadelphia area gear up for the start of their busy season, there are things people can all do – or not do – to keep animals out of the rehab center and in the wild. 

From the whimpering of newborn red foxes to the clacking of a great horned owl warning you are a little too close for comfort, the Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center in King of Prussia is starting to receive sick, injured and orphaned animals.

Michele Wellard, the nonprofit’s assistant director, says earlier this month, an owl was found ensnared in a soccer net on a Northeast Philadelphia field. 

“So we had to cut that all off him, treat the wounds he got from struggling, treat him for dehydration, give him a few free meals and in a couple of days we test flew him and he was ready to be re-released back to his family,” she said. 

Wellard asks, if possible, for soccer nets be taken down when not in use. 

Also to help keep wildlife safe, she says before doing yard work, sweep the area for possible. Look for rabbit, squirrel or bird nests before trimming or mowing, and if you’re weed whacking, be on the look out for turtles.

READ: Philadelphia Zoo brings back nostalgic Zoo Key to upcoming exhibit 

She also says if you find a baby bird has fallen out of its nest, you can put it back in there; the mama bird won’t smell your sent.  

“Gently put it back in the nest. It’s an old wives’ tale that the parents will reject the baby,” she said. 

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