Disneynature’s newest release “Growing Up Wild” teaches us that life is an adventure – especially for a newborn animal who has so much to learn. From their first steps of exploring their world to their final steps into independence, “Growing Up Wild” shares the tale of five courageous animals as they tackle the very first challenges of their young lives. From the wildest corners of the planet, we watch these cuddly newborn animals experience the triumphs and setbacks, parental lessons, and trial and effort. Lessons we can all relate to with our own children. All of the Disneynature films use stunning imagery and stories to bring home the real experiences of wild animals the world over. In celebration of “Growing Up Wild’s” release on December 6th, we wanted to encourage kids to take part in protecting wildlife right in their own backyard. 

7 Things Kids Can Do to Help Wild Animals

1. Learn more about the wild animals in your area.

Become a wildlife explorer! There are so many great ways to learn about the wildlife in your area. Conservation centers, zoos, rescue centers and your local DNR are great places to start. Get your hands on as many books about animals as you can. Get out and explore. Spend time in your backyard or hiking with a parent at a local park.

Also read:  3 Reasons To Read The Book Before Seeing The Film

2. Plant a wildlife garden.

Create a wildlife habitat in your yard by planting native flowers, trees and bushes (those that are original to your area). These can give local wild animals a place to hide, eat and even nest. Birdbaths and bird feeders further support local birds.

No matter how small a yard you have, it’s possible to create a wildlife habitat. Plant flowers, trees and bushes that are common in your area to act as shelter and food sources for wildlife like butterflies, hummingbirds, squirrels, caterpillars and more.

3. Know which animals you can feed, and which you can’t.

Feeding wild birds through the proper bird foods inside a backyard feeder can be a great way to help wildlife in your area. Just know that if you start feeding birds you need to keep feeding them through the winter or you will do more harm than good. However, you should never feed other wildlife like raccoons or dear. Feeding these animals can create many problems. They may come to rely on you for food and forget how to forage on their own. It also makes them less afraid of humans. Animals who are not afraid of humans can find themselves in dangerous predicaments.

4. Leave wild animals and plants in the wild.

If you spot an animal at the park, on the trail or near a water source, let it be. These animals need to stay in their home environment to survive. Take a picture instead. Likewise beautiful flowers should stay right where they are as well. A single flower can provide nourishment to many kinds of wildlife.

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5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

By being a good citizen of the world you can help wildlife live in a safer, healthier world. Recycling paper protects trees, which provide food and shelter to many wild animals. Turning off lights reduces electricity, which comes from power plants that pollute the environment that wild animals depend on for survival. Picking up litter from the roadways prevents wild animals from eating things that may cause them harm while also keeping them away from the road – and harms way.

6. Know how to care for injured wildlife in your area.

Unless an animal appears injured or in distress, there may be no need to rescue it. Signs that an animal needs your help include bleeding, a broken limb, shivering or is an abandoned young. If you find abandoned or injured wildlife, call your local wildlife rehabilitation center, DNR center, animal shelter or nature center to find out what to do.

7. Provide birds with houses.

Bird houses are a great way to help local wildlife. Research which birds are native to your area and then put up bird houses that are most likely to attract the. Different species have different needs from a bird house including different sizes, locations, and even the size of the opening. 

Disneynature’s Growing Up Wild is Exclusively on Digital HD December 6, 2016.

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