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Common Urban Wildlife Emergencies

Fawn Hiding Image

I found a baby mammal, now what?

Wild Forever receives hundreds of calls every year from people who find baby animals, assume the babies are in distress and want to rescue them. In most cases, it was determined that the mother was near by and the babies were to be left to her care. It is important to remember that a baby animal’s best chance at survival is with it’s mother.


Rehabilitators are currently seeing a flood of animals being rescued unnecessarily, which take up resources that should be directed to the animals that need it most. Some rehabilitators are operating at capacity and can not accept any more animals. We need your help in using our resources more wisely. Therefore, we have put together some general guidelines to help you determine when you should do something to help.



Baby Bunny Picture

As you perform your spring yard work, pay particular attention for baby rabbits as they like to hide in tall grass. Check the area before starting up the lawn mower. If you find a baby rabbit and it's eyes are open, it is self feeding and can sustain itself in the wild. The best thing to do is leave it were you found it and keep pets and children away.



Nestling Bird PictureI found a baby bird, now what?

Nestling birds are either naked or covered with soft down and/or undeveloped feathers. Should you find a nestling on the ground, see if you can locate the nest, safely reach it and put the baby back. Be sure to wash your hands after handing the bird.



Salvaged Nest Picture

If the nest is not with in reach or if it has been destroyed, you can build a backup nest and put it as close to the original location as possible. Leave the area and watch for the mother bird to return. If the mother bird does not return within a short while call a rehabilitator.



Fledgling Bird Picture

Fledgling birds have their wing feathers, but stubby tail feathers and a few tufts of down. During the first few days after they leave the nest, they are unable to fly and will hop around on the ground fluttering their wings building strength for flight. The parent birds will leave the baby alone for short periods of time but are near by.




It is not recommend that you try to rehabilitate baby animals yourself because it is illegal to do so without special licensing. Rehabilitators have specific training in the care and feeding of each species of birds and mammal, disease management and are licensed by State and Federal agencies.