What should I do if I find an injured or baby animal?

Published 04/22/2008 12:48 PM   |    Updated 04/27/2010 09:13 AM

What should I do if I find an injured or baby animal?

Is the animal really orphaned?

Every spring thousands of animals are born in the wild. With more and more suburban areas, young animals are increasingly born near humans and discovered without an adult animal nearby. Well-meaning people can upset the course of nature by taking young animals from their nests. Removing wildlife from its environment is prohibited by state regulations without proper handling permits. The apparent lack of an adult does not necessarily mean a young animal is alone. Adults often leave their young alone, safe in nests or dens while they forage for food, but rarely do they abandon their young. If a bird has fallen out of a nest, it is ok to gently return it to the nest. The best way to make sure an animal is truly orphaned is to wait and check it periodically. If you are unsure, place some strings or sticks across the nest. If such items are later disturbed, the mother has returned. In such a situation, leave the young animal alone. The adult will return after you leave the area. If the nest is not disturbed or after monitoring the young for several hours an adult does not return, please contact a licensed rehabilitator. The DNR, Division of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of wildlife rehabilitators who have state or federal permits to care for wild animals. If you find an injured animal, contact a wildlife rehabilitator. Go to www.wildlife.in.gov and click on "Wildlife Rehabilitation."  The DNR, Division of Fish and Wildlife does not care for injured animals or transport them to rehabilitators. " 

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