3 min read

One Simple Gesture Could Save This Baby Animal’s Life

Spring is fast approaching, and that means folks across the country will soon be out in force cleaning up their yards after the long winter frost. But before you grab that rake or garden hoe, this baby gopher has a very important message for you:

"Be careful!"

Last year, she was stirred from her burrow too soon, likely by a well-intentioned homeowner working outdoors.

Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center

Every year, countless animals - like ground-nesting birds, chipmunks, skunks, gophers and other small mammals - are injured, killed or displaced due to yard work.

Cory Alvis-Allen, from Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center in Oregon, has seen hundreds of cases a year. Fortunately, for folks willing to take the time, such mishaps can be prevented.


"One of the most important things is to be aware and observant before you go to work," Alvis-Allen told The Dodo. "Make sure you don't see any tunnels around if you're tilling dirt. If you do have to move a brush pile, it's best to rattle it around with a rake to see if any adults pop out. That way you'll know it's being occupied."

"We often encourage people to leave brush piles if they're not in an area prone to wildfires. That's a great way to build a habitat for wildlife. In nature, brush falls and doesn't get cleaned up, so that's a place where animals nest. You're actually creating habitat by allowing your brush piles to remain."


In the case of the little gopher seen above, we're happy to report that she was rescued, raised and later released back into the wild by Alvis-Allen and her staff.

Folks who do accidentally stir up wildlife are encouraged to contact a local animal rehabilitator.