Alpine Meadows Wildlife Rehab

Help! I've found an animal

Ok, so you found an animal. Should you help it? Well that depends, is it a baby or is it an injured adult? Is the baby crying, covered in fire ants, in immediate danger, or injured? If not leave it alone! Many animal mammas often leave thier babies while they go and forage. A fawn or baby rabbit will often be left alone for what seem like long periods of time for us. Rabbit moms only feed thier babies in the morning and evening they are alone all day long. If you are concerned watch it for a day to see if mom comes back. If it is a rabbit nest you can cover the nest with a 2 long stems of grass crossed to form an X, the next day if it is moved you know the mamma came back. If the animal clearly needs help please call your local wildlife rehabber. If you don't know who that is call your local game warden, sheriff, police department, or veterinarian they often know of the local rehabbers. If you are told to capture the animal, first and foremost make sure you can do it safely! Then you need to keep it contained in a box or crate, make sure it can breathe. You also want to keep it warm and as quiet as possible. Please do not feed it, they often have specific feeding needs and you can actually do more harm than good.

If you find a bird it is either a nestling or fledgling. A nestling has no feathers and is completely helpless, if you can please put them back in thier nest. It is a myth that the mother will abandon them if they are touched. If the bird has feathers it is a fledgling and is learning to fly. If it is not in danger leave it alone, the mother and father are nearby helping to feed it while it is learning the ropes.

Unfortunately most of the fawns that I get in are kidnap victims by well meaning people. Fawns often are by themselves during the day while mom is out foraging, though often unseen nearby. Many well meaning people stumble across a hiding fawn and think it has been abandoned. I cannot stress enough that these fawns should be left alone. UNLESS, you see a deceased doe nearby or the fawn is in trouble (for example injured, or crying and wandering, or in immediate danger from predators such as cars or dogs). Fawns are pretty skinny and look emaciated when first born this is not a concern as that is the way they are at birth. I have often witnessed does with their fawns and can say they are excellent mothers and would never just abandon a healthy fawn .  So unless you have definite reason to believe that the fawn needs help and not that you just don't see the doe nearby, Please leave them be, they will both be the better for it!