Spring has sprung and with it, you can expect to see more wildlife, including the newborns. These adorable animals are one of the wonderful aspects of being out in the wild, observing them from afar and enjoying the great beauty of nature. But what happens when you find a baby wild animal?
Wildlife encounters can be tricky, especially when you have your pet with you. There are some things to be aware of during these encounters, though. The team at Godspeed Animal Care is here to help in these situations.
Help! I Found a Baby Wild Animal
One of the biggest problems when you find a young wild animal is to figure out if they actually need help. Mothers will often leave their young alone for some time, so they can hunt and gather food to feed them. Unfortunately, when a person “rescues” the animal when it doesn’t need to be helped, it can decrease their chance of survival.
In fact, in most cases, leave the wildlife animal alone. This is even when it is whimpering or making noise, as this is just a signal back to their mama. The exception to this is when:
- The animal has been struck by a car
- There is visible injury or trauma
- They are in a place where they will be in immediate harm (middle of the road)
- They have struck a window
- They’re being attacked by an animal
In these cases, it is better to intervene if you can help keep them from being killed. Just don’t put you or your pet at risk of being hurt in the process.
After you have determined that the animal needs assistance, there are some measures you can take.
- Call your local wildlife center or rehabilitator. You can call local animal control for information on these numbers, too. The team at Godspeed can also help direct you.
- Make sure your pet stays away from the animal, if they are with you.
- Use gloves and long pants and shirt before attempting to pick up the animal.
- If the animal is a bird, try and locate the nest. Typically, birds fall directly under the nest so look at the canopy overhead and place them in it.
- If the young animal is a mammal, reptile, or amphibian, place them carefully in a box that is vented. Put the box in an area that is cool, dark, and quiet.
- If you are instructed to do so, drive them to the wildlife center.
Do not attempt to care for the animal without definite instruction from the experienced rehabilitator. They will guide you through the steps using safety and expertise.
Tips to Avoid Wildlife Encounters with Pets
- Avoid hiking or walking with your dog at dusk and dawn, when wildlife are more active
- Keep your pet on a leash and close to you
- Give wildlife a wide berth and back off slowly, then move to safety
- Make noise as you walk, such as using a bell on your pet’s collar
- Avoid areas where there are a lot of wildlife sightings
- Cover trash bins with a wildlife proof lock or bring bins in the garage
- Never feed your pet outside, as this will attract other animals
If you would like more information on what to do if you find a baby animal, or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to call us. Stay wildlife aware out there!