No matter the argument, most human’s natural instinct is to rescue a living being from potential harm. Rescuing a newborn wild animal from starvation because its mother had died is no exception for it is a natural human reaction. While this act is commendable, it has certain consequences in a way of interfering with the natural processes of life.
Recently, a short video on the rescue of a baby squirrel surfaced on the internet. The owner took the squirrel and turned it over to the maternal instincts of a female cat that just had kittens. As if it were her own, the cat immediately took in the squirrel into her fold. Eventually, the squirrel adopted the purring of its adopted mother, and along with the other kittens, acted the part as if it were a cat.
When asked of the owner what was to become of the squirrel when it reached a certain age, whereby it could live on its own, the owner said that the survival of the animal requires lifelong caring. He also said that by releasing the squirrel back into the wild would mean a certain death.
This is true for any wild animal kept beyond a certain timeframe.
The question arises then, should we, as humans, rescue animals for the sake of one's compassion of caring, preserving life? More importantly, are we doing more harm than good by taking in a wild animal. If not shown, the squirrel will live a life, not knowing how to interact with other squirrels, how to hunt for food, but to become wholly dependent on those caring for it. In fact, depriving the squirrel of living a normal life is wrong in many ways. Many would argue that finding this squirrel, or any other wild animal, deprived of its mother, is the only humane thing to do or else the animal would perish. Again, this is a difficult thing to do for any compassionate human being to either watch, or know that the animal will die from starvation. However, there are steps to take to prevent this from ever happening.
The animal kingdom is what it is, and, as humans, like it or not, we are interfering with the natural processes that make up the animal kingdom. Therefore, the provocative question remains, what are we suppose to do in the event we come across a baby orphan. Are we to allow the newborn die and not think anything of it? It may seem a cold-hearted act to do; nevertheless, unless one knows what to do in nurturing, and what to do afterward, then the most merciful thing to do is to walk away and leave it alone. Denying a wild animal from its natural instincts of interacting, productivity, and undergoing the natural processes of living out its natural way of life is to in effect, sentencing it to death in the first place.
This is not to say, as humans, that one should not turn one's head and look the other way when other humans are systematically destroying certain species into extension. Indeed, we can look to the oceans for the whale is a prime example. The ongoing slaughter of humankind's oceans most peaceable and ecosystem producing giants is a travesty. For the good of humankind and the species, it is up to humans, coupled with their governments, to prevent this from ever happening.
The essence of common sense is that, as compassionate humans, we need to let animals live a normal life and not interfere with nature’s way. That said, there is an exception to the matter of adopting a wild baby animal. Timing has everything to do with the eventual survival of the animal. There is evidence the world over to show that a wild animal introduced back into the wild suffers little or no consequences. However, keeping a wild animal beyond a certain stage of its life means a certain death.
Nurturing a wild animal during its early days, then by gradually introducing it to the wild promotes a learning process that the animal learns and is essential for the survival of the animal. Inherently instilled at birth, some animal kingdom species do not necessarily require the skills to survive. Usually, the female is the one who teaches its young the ability and skills of survival, which can last for months. Some of these include the feline, canine, bears, and other species. Abandoned to fend for themselves at a very early age are animals such as squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, mice, and others.
For releasing animals back into the wild, they need an environment located predominately outside so that they can interact with others of their own kind. Unless fed by a bottle, the feeding usually calls for close supervision so that the animal gets the feel of its surroundings. For example, the squirrel instinctively knows that the nut is its main staple and therefore will dig and search the grounds. The rabbit knows that the grass is its main food and the ferret knows that rodents and other small creatures are its main food. To feed animals human foods is a tragic mistake. Animals need food that enables them to acclimate to the wild.