If you find a fawn that is laying down, being quiet with it's legs curled up underneath it... it doesn't need help. It is not an orphan.
If you find a baby fawn that is wandering around aimlessly and crying loudly, if it has ticks or fly eggs on it's face or fur, if it is injured or if there is a deceased mother nearby... this fawn needs help.
Please call your local wildlife rehabilitator for directions on what to do.
If you are unsure if the baby is orphaned or not, please call your local wildlife rehabilitator before you remove it from the wild.
Also, as with any wild animal that you find, please DO NOT try and feed it. Contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator first and they will direct you on what to do next.
If you accidentally uncover or destroy a cottontail nest...
Very important: If the cottontails are uninjured, you can place the babies back into the nest, cover them with the nesting material, make a pattern (like a bullseye or tic-tac-toe) on top of the nest using string, floss, twigs, flour, etc. Leave them alone and wait 12-24 hours... If the mom is caring for the babies, the pattern will be disturbed when you revisit the nest the next morning.
Mother cottontails only feed their young a couple times a day... once in the morning and once again at dusk. Unless the babies are injured, please place them back in the nest.
Do not handle bat with bare hands and do not try to rehabilitate the bat yourself.
To pick the bat up, use a small branch and touch it to it's feet, it should grab a hold of the branch. You can now safely move the bat to a higher location or near the roost.
Mothers roost in large maternal colonies. Healthy bat pups that are found below a bat roost can be placed on the wall below the roost and allowed to climb back up. If the baby doesn't climb back up after several hours, it will need to be taken to a wildlife rehabilitator.
If an uninjured bat or otherwise healthy bat is grounded, you can place them on an elevated surface. To become airborne, the bat must push off from an elevated surface. Their bodies must drop slightly during take off. Most bats cannot take off from the ground.
If you are not sure what to do, please call your local wildlife rehabilitator for help.
If you accidentally destroy a squirrels nest or chop it's nest tree down, you can still reunite it with the mother... if the babies are uninjured and the mother is unharmed and still in the area.
Mother squirrels make more than one nest, sometimes they'll make up to 5 different nests. If you accidentally destroy a squirrel nest, she has a back up nest that she can move the babies to.
If the babies are uninjured, place them in a box and attach it to the tree or as close to the nest tree as possible. Watch from a safe distance. If the mother can see you, she may not come back. Once she feels safe, the mother should come back and retrieve her babies.
IF she doesn't, you can play distressed squirrel sounds like the ones found here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxr53i2lI8s I generally tell folks to play it on a continuous loop from your phone. You can place your phone near the babies box.
If, after several hours, she still doesn't retrieve the babies, you will need to call your local wildlife rehabilitator for instructions on what to do next.
Please DO NOT attempt to feed the babies, this can cause aspiration pneumonia and can kill them.
If you find a baby bird on the ground...
1) Is it injured? Does it have blood, broken wing, lying on it's side, or ants on it?
-If it is, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator.
-If it isn't...
2) Does it have feathers?
-If it doesn't, can you see a nest nearby? IF you can, carefully place it back in the nest. If you can't find a nest, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator.
-If if does have feathers, are any dogs/cats/predators actively trying to attack it?
-If the answer is no, leave it alone, it is a fledgling and it is normal for it to be on the ground before gaining the courage to fly. You should see or hear the parents nearby screaming at it to fly.
-If the answer is yes, carefully place the bird in a bush or other safe space where it's parents can still find it. Bring pets inside if possible.
Please know that wildlife animals have more than one home (den/nest/burrow) in different locations. If one nest is destroyed, the mother will relocate her babies to one of her other nests. Please give her time to do this as she can only carry one baby at a time.
Please DO NOT attempt to feed any wild baby animal.
Place the baby or babies back as close to the original location as possible... preferably up high or away from predators.
Watch from a safe distance. Mom will not retrieve the babies if she can see you.
When she feels it is safe, she will come and get her babies and move them to one of her other nests/dens/burrows.
If your pet gets sprayed by a skunk, DO NOT get them wet!
It may seem like the most logical thing to do would be to bathe them.... please don't! Getting them wet will seal in the skunk oil secretion and they will smell like a skunk for weeks or even months.
Make a paste of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dawn dish liquid...
-Use 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 tsp of blue dawn dish liquid and form a paste.
-Cover your pet with all of the paste. Let sit for a little while (around 30 minutes if possible). Now, it is okay to rinse them off.
Also, keep in mind, skunks do NOT want to spray you. They will do all sorts of things beforehand to try and scare you or your pet off.
-They will fluff their fur to make themselves seem larger.
-They will stamp their feet.
-They will hiss or growl.
-They will raise their tail.
-They will make little charging stomps towards you.
-Spotted skunks will even do a handstand to scare you off.
Spraying is their last resort because once they empty their scent reserves, it takes them 10 days to replenish their supply. So, this leaves them defenseless for 10 days.
Please be kind and give them space... they mean you no harm.
Please DO NOT trap and relocate wildlife. It isn't the humane thing to do.
When a wild animal is trapped and relocated, they almost always die....
When wild animals are relocated, they are dumped in an area they know nothing about. They have no idea where to find food, and most will starve to death. They have no idea where to seek shelter, or where to hide and most will either succumb to the elements or be killed by predators.
Once relocated, they are now invaders in another animals territory. The existing animals will almost always run the newly relocated animal off or kill it.
If the newly relocated animal was a mother, she will have babies that are now left behind without a mother to care for them. Unless someone finds them, they will now starve to death.
And, when you relocate an animal to another location, you are opening the door to other animals to come in and claim their territory. So, removing an animal only allows others to take it's place.
This has been an extremely busy baby season. And, a lot of wildlife rehabs are currently full or closed to admissions.
Sadly, about half of those intakes are because someone trapped and relocated (or killed) the mother... leaving the babies orphaned.
Please, do not trap and relocate wild animals.
Although trap and release sounds like a good idea, sadly it isn't. Live-trapping and relocation rarely ends well for wildlife, nor is it a permanent solution.
If a wildlife animal has taken up residence (nesting) in an area of your home or property, and it is during a season that isn't winter, you can bet that it's because it has babies in that nest.
Between early March and late August, raccoons, skunks, woodchucks and other animals may choose shelter in, around and under a home because they need a safe place to bear and rear their young. Well-adapted to urban life, they will opt to nest in safe, quiet and dark spaces—such as an uncapped chimney, an attic, or under the back porch steps—if given the opportunity. You may only see one animal, but during this time, assume that any wild animal denning or nesting around a home is a mother with dependent babies.
Not recognizing that dependent young may be present when live-trapping and relocating wildlife during the spring and summer often has tragic consequences. Wild animal babies are unintentionally orphaned and too often die of starvation, because their mother is trapped and removed.
Although homeowners mean well, wild animals do not “settle in” quickly to new surroundings, no matter how inviting that habitat may seem to humans. In fact, the odds are heavily stacked against any animal who is dumped in a strange park, woodland, or other natural area.
A 2004 study of grey squirrels who were live-trapped and relocated from suburban areas to a large forest showed that a staggering 97 percent of the squirrels either soon died or disappeared from their release area.
Take it from the animals' point of view:
Suddenly in an unfamiliar place, they are disoriented and don’t know where to find shelter, food or water.
They're in another animal’s territory and may be chased out, attacked, or killed (this happens all too often).
They don’t know where to go to escape from predators.
They may desperately search for babies that they are now separated from.
In the meantime, their helpless young are slowly dying. Even if the orphaned young are discovered, rescued and taken to a wildlife rehabilitator to be reared, it remains a bleak situation for both mother and offspring; one that could have been easily prevented.
So, what do we do, you ask? The ideal response is patience.
If the animals are not causing damage or harm, you can be assured that once the young are big enough to be out and about, the birth den will have served its purpose. The denning and nesting season is short. Be tolerant and wait a few weeks until the family has vacated the premises and you’ll prevent orphaning of the young altogether. Then you can make repairs to prevent animals from moving in again by finding the entry/exit holes and plugging them up. You can also "animal-proof" the areas where the nests were.
If you can’t wait for the animals to leave on their own, the next best strategy is humane eviction—gently harassing the animals so they’ll move to an alternative location. Wild animals have a sophisticated knowledge of their home ranges (the area in which they spend almost their entire life). Alternative places of refuge are part of that knowledge or cognitive map. Litters can, and will, be moved if disturbed.
Try using a combination of unpleasant smells and sounds. We recommend using rags soaked in a strong smelling substance such as cider vinegar, lights and a blaring radio (set on a talk station) during nighttime hours to convert an attractive space (quiet, dark and protected) into one that is inhospitable.