Dealing with Distressed Wildlife
Be Cautious! Wild animals can be dangerous! Their behavior is often unpredictable. Do not attempt to rescue a potentially dangerous animal without assistance from someone with experience. Never touch any wild animal if it can be avoided. Always keep children and pets away. If you must touch an animal, always wear gloves. This will protect both you and the animal. In many cases, an animal that bites or scratches a person will need to be killed to test it for rabies.
Assess the situation before picking up an animal!
Wild animals often leave their young unattended for several hours or more. Be aware that animals thought to be orphans may not need your assistance. Do not intervene unless you are certain that the animal is orphaned, it is obviously injured, or it is in immediate danger. If you suspect that an animal is orphaned, watch from a distance for a minimum of several hours and attempt to reunite the orphan with its mother.
Remember that it is illegal for any person, other than a state appointed rehabilitator, to care for wildlife. If you think an animal needs help, make sure to contact a wildlife rehabilitator from one of the following lists:
|Hawks and Owls||Small Mammals||Deer|
|Ducks and Geese||Raccoons||Bears, Bobcats and Coyotes|
|Other Birds||Skunks||Reptiles and Amphibians|
If an animal appears to be sick, it may not be safe to handle it! If it is stumbling, staggering, walking in circles, dragging a limb or the hind end, or if it is acting strangely (approaching people or pets in an aggressive manner) never attempt to handle the animal. It may be rabid. Call your local Animal Control Officer or Police Department immediately to get assistance with a potentially rabid animal. If local authorities are not available to help with a potentially rabid animal, you can also contact DEEP Dispatch (860-424-3333).