I Found a Wild Animal

 

 

 

 

 

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What should you do with those baby bunnies your cat or dog brought in?

What about that bird hopping around in your driveway?

 

Up Birds Fawns Foxes Opossums Rabbits Raccoons Raptors Reptiles Skunks Squirrels Waterbirds

 

 

(To locate a legally Authorized Wildlife Custodian in Ontario, click HERE)

 

Wild Animal Babies – orphans

. . . or just ‘home alone’?

 

Just because you ‘see’ the baby animal there, doesn’t necessarily make it a true  orphan.  In some cases, it’s perfectly normal for baby wildlife to be without the parents. If you have determined that the animal is an orphan or is injured or sick, be sure to wear gloves and use a towel to keep from touching the animal. It’s important to remember that even tiny babies will bite because they are afraid and it is instinctive that they want to protect themselves to the best of their ability.  They are, after all - wild animals!

 

Wild Animal Babies...when do they need your help?

 

The following checklist will help you establish whether any wild animal needs to be brought to an authorized wildlife custodian for care and examination

 

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Do you see any blood anywhere?

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Is there any discharge around the eyes, ears, nose/nares, mouth/beak, or bottom end of the animal

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Visually split the animal in half - do both halves look the same?

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Are there any wounds, punctures, scratches, or swollen areas?

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Is the animal dry, or wet

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Is one limb/leg ‘crooked’ in comparison to the other one?  Are they limping, or if it's a bird, is it dragging one wing? (It’s normal for fledged baby birds to  raise their wings and flutter them quickly while begging for food and some will sit with both wings slightly drooped.)

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Is the animal trembling, or shaking, or is the head tilted to one side?

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Is it walking in circles?  Does the animal look like it should be able to walk, but is instead just lying there?

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Are the eyes clear and bright?

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Is it sneezing or gasping for breath with its head held back?

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If it's an infant mammal is it cold to the touch or curled up tight in a ball trying to stay warm?

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Are there obvious signs of fleas, ticks, lice, mites, maggots, or other parasites on the animal?

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Did 'Rover', the family dog, or 'Fluffy' the family cat bring this animal home  in their mouth?  Cats mouths contain pasteurella bacteria and untreated, this bacteria is fatal to wildlife.

 

If you followed the instructions on our pages and the animal in question:

 

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Was found warm and healthy,

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Was left in the area where it was found, you continued to check on it (warmed it up if necessary) and allowed it’s mother a chance to retrieve it, and you did not remain hovering over the baby (e.g. physically left the area and then returned hours later)

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Was left out for 24-48 hours and it is now cold again, and has not been retrieved by its parent in all this time; or

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Only part of the litter has been retrieved, and there is no evidence of anyone coming back for this last one

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The animal is a fawn and it has been left in the precise area where found, and has not moved for 48 hours or is loudly crying in the daylight

 

        …then that animal needs to be brought in.

 

If you:

 

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Placed squirrels in a basket part way up the tree they fell from, and it’s been more than 24 hours and no one has retrieved them

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Placed baby cottontail rabbits back in their nest area, and left them there for at least 24-48 hrs and the infants are now cold and have not been tended to. Cottontails whose eyes are open, ears stand up, and who fit in the palm of your hand, 3-4 inches tall, who are mobile and perky, should not be rescued.  They are old enough to be on their own.

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Have found the baby with its siblings or a parent and some of them are dead.

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Have found them in an unusual situation or a dangerous situation, e.g. in a swimming pool, under the hood of a car, in the middle of the road,  lying on the road or stumbling on the road in heavy traffic, etc.

   

        ...then that animal needs to be brought in.

 

If you believe that if you leave this mammal or bird, where it is, or put it back where you found it, that the neighbourhood cats or dogs (or some other predator) will come along and eat it, that is not a justifiable reason for taking a wild animal baby from it's parents.  The reality is, that we have no control over the fact that people won’t keep their cats indoors or their dogs on a leash, in spite of many city, town and municipal bylaws that make it mandatory for them to do so. 

 

These domestic animals are by no means a part of ‘nature.’  Predation by other wildlife sometimes is.  An uninjured bird or mammal must be given a chance to be reunited with its mother.  That is the animals best chance for survival - being raised by a natural parent. Cats and dogs who roam freely can be confined indoors long enough for the wild animal's mother to retrieve it.

 

If you feel that public health and safety is at risk from any wild animal, police should be called out immediately to assist in securing the area and keeping the public out of harms way.

 

Wild Animal Babies . . .

keeping them warm until Mom comes to get them

 

There is one important thing to remember, with both baby birds and mammals.  If the baby has little or no body fur, or little or no feathers, they will need some supplemental warmth in the box. Fill an empty water bottle with warm water, make sure the cap is on tightly, wrap a towel around it, and put  it in the corner of the box. Take a seat inside your house and watch from there to see if the mom comes to fetch it. If she's still around, she should come to get her baby within a few hours. If the mother has not come back by dusk, it’s not likely she will come out at night so you’ll need to safely put the baby in a warm, dry, dark, predator-free place for the night. A shed or garage, where you can provide supplemental heat is the best option until daylight comes again and you can try once more. Contact your local authorized wildlife custodian or wildlife centre for more help.

 

Wild Animal Babies . . .

don’t keep them in the house

 

Don't make the mistake of bringing nocturnal wild babies inside your home for the night.  While that may work with species such as baby songbirds and baby squirrels whose parents are not active at night, it does not work for nocturnal mammals (e.g. raccoons, skunks) whose parents are active in the dark.  Any reunion with the parent animals for nocturnal mammals will not take place if you’ve brought that baby inside your home for the night. That's the time their mother will come looking for them.

 

Click on a species link above or below for more information on what to do. Use the back button on your browser to return to this page.

 

[Up] [Birds] [Fawns] [Foxes] [Opossums] [Rabbits] [Raccoons] [Raptors] [Reptiles] [Skunks] [Squirrels] [Waterbirds]

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Last modified: 09/23/16 08:17 PM