What To Do If You Find An Injured Animal

The staff at Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve is not equipped or trained to assist with sick or injured wildlife. Please read the following list of guidelines from the Wildlife Works website when dealing with wildlife that is sick or injured. After reading through the guidelines, if you determine that you need the assistance of a wildlife rehab, you can contact Wildlife Works at (724) 925-6862 or through their website at www.wildlifeworksinc.org.

The following is a list of guidelines that is found on the website for Wildlife Works: 

Rescue If:

  • The parent is known to be dead, and the baby is too young to be on its own
  • The animal is weak, thin, cold, or appears sick.
  • The animal is injured in any way; or there are flies, ants, or other insects around the animal.
  • The animal is in danger, including problems with other animals, people, or any life-threatening situation.

Leave Alone If:

  • The parent is nearby. Parents rarely abandon healthy offspring. It is natural for some species, including rabbits and deer, to leave their young for a few hours while foraging for food.
  • The animal is fat, bright-eyed, appears healthy, and isn’t in apparent danger. Parent animals have strong self-preservation instincts. Watch from a distant place. Keep children and animals away so the reunion can take place

Intervene If:

  • A nest has been blown from a tree. Pick it up, place it in a berry basket, and tie the basket to a limb of the tree using heavy twine, or place in a crotch of a tree.
  • A baby has fallen from the nest. Pick up the baby and return it to the nest. Do not handle the baby a lot since their bones are fragile. Call Wildlife Works for more advice.

Always: Use gloves and caution when handling wildlife. Wild animals normally don’t attack people, but when threatened they will defend themselves. Even small mammals can bite or scratch; birds can peck. Larger species are dangerous.

Never: Never touch raccoons, skunks, bats, woodchucks, or foxes without using gloves. These species could be carriers of rabies. Contact a wildlife rehabber ASAP if you find any of these species in trouble.

After Rescue:

  • Place the animal in a secure box equipped with air holes and a lid. Use a box that is the right size – not too    large or small. Provide a clean ravel-free cloth for the animal to grasp, and make certain there is nothing inside the box the animal can get caught in. The box should be placed in a warm, dark, and quiet area until transportation is arranged.
  • Do not feed or water the animal; good intentions can be fatal to wildlife.
  • NEVER house or transport a wild bird in a cage. The wire will damage their feathers.