Rabbits, ducklings, and chicks may all be symbols of springtime, but the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center said, that doesn’t necessarily mean they make good Easter gifts. The SPWRC explained that often these animals are gifted during Easter, but then abandoned by owners who didn’t realize how much work they would be to take care of.
“Before Easter and after Easter we start getting in baby ducklings, a lot of people get bunnies for Easter for their kids,” said Gail Barnes, the executive director of the SPWRC.
She said that Saturday, the center received a baby chicken who was abandoned in a store parking lot.
“He lives in the incubator because he cannot regulate his body temperature, we do have a home for him and they will be coming to get him tomorrow, but if you want to get a pet like one of these– a chicken or a bunny or a duckling do your homework first because they are very messy pets and they take a lot of work,” Barnes said.
She said especially young animals can require intensive care. Barnes said that ducklings for example, aren’t born knowing how to swim and will struggle in the water without a mother duck there to assist and preen them.
“They go to the pet stores or farm stores that sell the baby ducklings and the baby bunnies and they are really cute, but they grow so fast and they are so messy and people don’t realize that,” Barnes said. “They need to be in the wild or they need to have the proper set up.”
Barnes recommends thinking twice before gifting a baby animal for Easter.
“It’s a commitment when you take an animal as a pet, but we hope that if parents do buy them that they’re teaching their children to be responsible for the pet,” she said.