A gray fox tree den may even be located 30 feet above the ground. The den is lined with grass, leaves or shredded bark. Gray foxes have retractable claws like cats and are excellent tree climbers. They breed between mid-February and late March. In April to mid-May 3 - 4 young, called kits, are born. At birth, kits weigh about three ounces and are dark-skinned, blind and naked.
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In 10 - 12 days fuzzy fur begins to develop and their eyes open. By 3 months, kits are following their mother away from the den and by 4 months they are hunting on their own. Kits stay with their parents until fall when they leave and live on their own. Tip: Gray fox kits may be seen outside of their den exploring or playing during the day while their parents are nearby, usually out of sight and hunting for food.
Unless the kit appears weak, injured alone and crying for hours or if you have reason to believe both parents are dead, it should be left alone. Opossums are the only marsupial in North America. Female marsupials have a pouch on their abdomen in which they carry and nurse their young. Opossums are a nocturnal animal, which means they are most active during the night. During the day, they hide in hollow logs, trees, under brush piles, in road culverts, in rock and stump crevices or under buildings, decks or porches. They are able to live wherever sufficient water, food and shelter exist.
Opossums mate in March, and young, called joeys, are born after only two weeks as embryos. At birth they are barely larger than a plump raisin, and spend about two months nursing within their mother's pouch. When they are about 3 - 4 inches long, they start to get too large for the pouch and they take to riding around on the mother's back.
At about 4 months of age, when joeys are approximately 7 - 9 inches from snout to rump, they leave their mother and become independent. Tip: Occasionally, a joey will fall off the mother's back as she travels around looking for food. If it doesn't catch up and climb back on, it will be left behind.
Opossums are often hit by motor vehicles when they try to cross a roadway. An adult female that is killed by a motor vehicle may still have live joeys in her pouch or clinging to her fur. If you find an opossum that is cold, wet, injured, in a dangerous location or less than 7 inches long not including the tail, it may need to be placed in the care of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
If you find a young opossum and it is longer than 9 inches from snout to rump not including the tail , it is old enough to be independent of its mother. Woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, are solitary animals, except for the few weeks a year when females have young, called kits.
One litter per year is produced in a burrow underground, usually in April or May. The litter usually contains 2 - 6 kits which are born blind, naked and helpless. Their eyes don't open until they are about 4 weeks old. When they are 6 - 7 weeks old they'll begin exploring outside the burrow. By midsummer they'll be digging practice burrows and will soon leave to continue life on their own. Tip: If a woodchuck kit is found wandering some distance from its burrow without its mother, it may be orphaned.
Watch from a distance for an hour or more to see if it rejoins its mother. If you determine the kit is orphaned, it will likely have littermates that also need help. Continue to search the area often for up to a week to see if its siblings appear. Unless a woodchuck appears to be injured, sick, is walking in circles or falling over or is known to be orphaned, it should be left alone. Striped skunks are a mainly nocturnal animal, which means they are most active at night and spend most of the day in a burrow or den.
They are very adaptable and can live wherever sufficient water, food and shelter exist. They have young, called kits, are born in late April to early May.
Kits are born hairless, with faint black and white markings on their body. It is a common misconception that skunk kits cannot spray.
They can create musk at 8 days old, and are capable of spraying at 3 weeks old. At 3 weeks old, kits can open their eyes. They leave the den with their mother at 6 - 8 weeks, fully-furred and learning how to search for food. Tip: Mother skunks are rarely far from their young. If you see active skunk kits outside of their den, the mother is likely nearby. Do not try to pick them up or pet them. Skunks are carriers of rabies in Wisconsin, and therefore licensed wildlife rehabilitators are currently not allowed to provide care for skunks.
It is very important to protect the skunk kits by leaving them alone to be raised by their natural mothers. There are 11 species of turtles in Wisconsin. The semi-aquatic painted turtle is our most abundant species. The state-endangered ornate box turtle is Wisconsin's only terrestrial totally land-dwelling turtle. The months of May and June are peak nesting season for Wisconsin's turtles.
All turtles lay their eggs on land, most in a nest that they dig themselves using their hind feet. Once the eggs are laid, the female turtle buries the eggs and leaves them to hatch on their own. After hatching, young turtles are completely independent and self-sufficient.
Tip: Turtles that are about to lay eggs often cross roads to find soil suitable for nesting. These turtles are often hit by motor vehicles on the roadway by drivers who don't see them in time to avoid them. Be on the lookout for turtles on the roadway, especially during the months of May and June.
If it is safe for yourself and others to do so, you can help a turtle cross the road. Be very mindful of your safety and the safety of other drivers, and do not attempt to stop traffic. Take extra caution if you assist a snapping turtle across a road. Snapping turtles can be large, heavy, have a very long mobile neck and can bite very hard. To protect yourself, use a shovel or board to scoop up and carry the turtle or use a rake or sturdy stick to push and scoot a snapping turtle, across the road.
When assisting a turtle across the road, move it in the direction in which it is traveling. If you turn it around in the opposite direction the turtle will likely make another attempt to cross the road.
The mother will not return if people or dogs are present. The Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. About this Item: monarch book, Paperback. Check out Gil Brewer Forgot password? In 10 - 12 days fuzzy fur begins to develop and their eyes open.
Also, do not move the turtle to a "better spot" or different location. Turtles have a familiar home range and females often return year after year to the same general area to lay their eggs.
If you find an injured turtle, call the DNR or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible. Do not put the injured turtle in water. The turtle may not be able to keep its head out of the water and could drown. For more information about how you can help Wisconsin's turtles visit the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program. Wildlife rehabilitators are licensed individuals trained and equipped to provide temporary care and treatment to injured, sick and orphaned wild animals for the purpose of release back into the wild. Never attempt to rehabilitate wildlife on your own.
Wild animals can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans and pets. They are also capable of inflicting injury to themselves or others as they fight to defend themselves against a perceived threat humans or pets. They have very specific dietary and housing requirements that are not easily met in captivity. Plus, rehabilitating wildlife without a license is against the law in Wisconsin.
Contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator immediately if you have determined that a wild animal is sick, injured or truly orphaned. Learn more about ways to Connect with DNR. Webster Street. Site requirements Accessibility Legal Privacy Employee resources.