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Wild animals left abandoned and starved due to drought, say wild - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Wild animals left abandoned and starved due to drought, say wildlife experts

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Solvang -

Animal experts say the drought has left Central Coast wildlife starving and homeless. As the days get warmer, and water supplies dwindle, more animals are in need of help.

At Animal Rescue Team Inc. in Solvang, the facility is packed. In 2014, the rescue team took care of almost 500 animals. Five months into 2015, their count is already over 300, and rescue officials say the drought is to blame.

“This one has been really sick with a real bad upper-respiratory infection,” says Director of Animal Rescue Team, Julia Di Sieno, about a badger cub found on the side of the road in Lompoc. “She keeps blowing yellow out of her nostrils making it difficult for her to eat and breathe.

Di Sieno believes the drought is forcing badgers and other wildlife out of their natural habitat.

A fawn born just 48 hours prior, abandoned by her mom, is now bottle fed by Di Sieno.

“This fawn barely weighs two pounds and is so tiny and so under-developed that she can't use her hind legs because the hooves are so soft,” explains Di Sieno. “We are working around the clock to give her a chance at life... We are noticing a lot of animals being abandoned by their mothers. It could very well be related to the drought because the mother has to survive and probably can not because she doesn't have enough to sustain her brood.”

Returning to the badger, Di Sieno said, “We will never know what happened to her mama. We can only do the best that we can and then bring her back to the ranch where she was found and hopefully she will be reunited with her family down the road.”

Animal Rescue Team Inc. asks that the public not touch or take in any wild animal that is seen out of place. Instead, they should call the Rescue Team or the Sheriff's Office. Also, do not feed or leave water for wild animals as it will only lure them into urban neighborhoods.

For more information on the Animal Rescue Team Inc. click here. The Rescue Team says they are in need of volunteers and funding for a new animal hospital.

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