MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There is a baby boom taking place in South Florida but these newborns have a wild side. That is because the baby boom is taking place in South Florida’s animal kingdom.READ MORE: Storms Causing Flight Delays At South Florida Airports
Lloyd Brown with Wildlife Rescue of Dade County says he used to be able to narrow down the time all the baby raccoons would be born to just a few weeks on the calendar, but now, raccoons giving birth has become an all-year affair.
“In the past few years with global climate change, we’ve started to get babies year-round. The past two years we have not been without baby raccoons, at all. Ever.”
It’s not just raccoons, either.
They are seeing baby foxes, squirrels and even baby owls being born all the time, rather than during a set time of the year based on historic mating periods.
Currently, the experts at the Wildlife Rescue of Dade County are caring for five baby raccoons.READ MORE: COVID In Florida: 5,520 New Cases, 9 Deaths Reported On Sunday
When a baby animal is found, some people may feel a parental instinct kick in and want to take care of it but Brown says it is important you leave their care to the experts. And no, you cannot just keep it as a pet.
“It is illegal to do so. These are native wild animals that a protected by state and federal law and that law dictates who can and cannot take care of these animals,” explained Brown.
Brown also says their diets are very specific, and if you feed them the wrong thing, they could get sick.
“You are doing more harm than good and you also might be endangering your own life.”
With several cases of rabies confirmed in Miami-Dade County in the last year alone, his best advice is to keep your distance, despite how cute and harmless the baby animal may seem.
If you come across a newborn animal, Brown says there is a chance the animal’s mother will be returning soon to care for it.MORE NEWS: Former President Trump Targets McConnell, Pence During Speech To GOP Donors
If not, you should contact a wildlife rescue group to provide it with the best chance at life.