should you do if you find an injured animal? If
the animal is bleeding, shivering, vomiting or has obviously been
attacked by a cat or a dog, call a wildlife rehabilitator or your
state wildlife agency for assistance. If you must contain the animal
until help arrives, please do not feed or water it. Note exactly
where the animal was found (for release purposes) and keep it in
a warm, dark, quiet place. Wash your hands after contact.
should you do if you find an orphaned animal? The most
important thing to do is to make sure the animal is truly orphaned.
Wild animals make extremely good parents and most babies do not
need our help. Most wild mothers routinely leave their babies to
feed, however they are close by but will not return if humans are
present. Fledgling birds normally spend a few days on the ground
being fed by parents, so as long as Mom and Dad are near the baby
will be fine. A baby's best chance for survival is with its parents.
Many times well-meaning rescuers pick up and take away healthy youngsters
while their parents watch.
you know the mother is dead, or if the baby is injured, call a wildlife
rehabilitator as soon as possible. While well-meaning, most people
do not have the skills needed to rehabilitate an animal, successfully
returning it to the wild.
is against Federal Laws for untrained people to administer aid
to injured or orphaned wildlife. Rescue them, but call Mississippi
Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc. at 662-429-5105 as soon as possible!
Squirrels: Often after a bad storm, baby squirrels are
found on the ground under a tree. Every effort should be made to
try to reunite the baby with the mother. Place the baby in a container
with holes punched in the bottom for drainage. Place the container
at the base of the tree, or secure it to a low branch where its
mother can retrieve it. Leave the area. Mother will not return if
there is activity by humans or domestic animals. Do not attempt
to feed or water the baby. Squirrel babies emit a high-pitched sound
that is sometimes inaudible to human ears. This will help mother
locate her baby. If mother has not retrieved the baby after 4 to
6 hours, call the wildlife center for help.
Bunnies: If their nest has been damaged, it can be repaired.
Look for a shallow depression lined with grass/fur. Place babies
in the nest with light layers of grass to hide them. Leave the area
or the mother won’t return. (Mothers return only at dawn &
dusk to feed the babies.) If you find healthy bunnies that are 4-5
inches long, able to hop, with eyes open and ears up, they DO NOT
NEED YOUR HELP! They are able to survive on their own. If you are
uncertain mother rabbit is returning to feed the babies, place a
couple of pieces of yarn criss-cross on the nest. If the yarn has
been disturbed the next morning, mother is returning to the nest.
Raccoons: Mother raccoons prepare their nests where it
is most convenient, for her that is. Any opening high up off the
ground is subject to mom’s scrutiny when trying to choose
a nest site. If a baby is found on the ground after a storm and
you cannot place the baby back in the nest, apply the same instruction
as with baby squirrels. Keep it warm but out of the sun.
Birds: Determine its age. Does it have feathers? If not
and you know where the nest is located, replace the hatchling in
the nest. If it is feathered and not obviously injured, broken wing,
leg, etc.) clear all pets and children away from the fledgling and
observe it for an hour. Chances are the parents will return for
it. They may be waiting until all the activity has died down before
approaching the youngster. If you have tried all this, carefully
pick up the baby and put it immediately in a small cardboard box
or plastic food container large enough for the bird to stand up
in or move around a bit. Place the box in a warm, QUIET area of
the house and call your local wildlife rehabilitation center for
further instructions. Do not offer the bird food or water until
you have spoken with them and avoid peeking at or disturbing the
Baby ducks and geese are treated the same way. Always observe young
waterfowl before picking it up. These birds are doting parents and
will respond to a lost offspring. They do know how many babies they
have. Because of this, they’ll backtrack until they find the
errant youngster. If you listen, you’ll hear the duckling/gosling
calling for its parents. If you’re sure the duckling/gosling
is an orphan, follow the same steps as above. Place it in a padded
box/container, covered with a towel, and put it in a warm, QUIET
place. You’ll want to use a deeper container for ducklings
as they will jump. Immediately call the rehabilitation center for
Indoors! Bird conservationists report over 63 million wildlife
are destroyed every year by our adorable kitty cats. Indoor cats
are safe from poisons, automobiles, dogs and possible disease. Doesn’t
it make sense to help take care of our wildlife and at the same
time have a healthy, happy indoor cat? Please, cat attacks are one
of the main reasons we get injured songbirds in the summer. If you
love your cat and love wildlife, please keep your cat indoors!
Wildlife Diseases: There are a number of wildlife
diseases that can be passed on to you. Some of these diseases can
cause serious problems and even death. Wear gloves when handling
any wildlife and NEVER allow children to handle or cuddle wildlife.
I Keep It? Wildlife laws are made not only to protect wildlife,
but to also protect the general public. It is illegal in most states
to keep wild animals if you don’t have permits, even if you
plan to release them. It is illegal to have them in your possession.
Songbirds and birds of prey are protected by Federal law and have
fines of $15,000 up and jail time. Even the nests and feathers of
songbirds and raptors are protected.