I found an animal

If you find an animal that appears to be injured or in distress, contact your
local licensed wildlife rehabilitator
BEFORE you handle it. Licensed wildlife
rehabilitators are trained to properly handle and care for wildlife.

Many wild young animals are left alone while their mothers feed elsewhere.
A licensed wildlife rehabilitator can help determine if the animal truly needs
assistance and if it does, provide the proper care. REMEMBER: wild young do
best when left in the wild with their parents.

Click below for species specific advice.

Birds, squirrels, deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, opossums, other mammals, and turtles.

NJAWR would like to announce a new easy-reference brochure, “Help! I found a wild animal…What should I do now?” Designed to assist wildlife rehabilitators, ACOs, shelters, and other animal care professionals, the brochure provides basic information for the general public on how to determine if a wild animal needs help, how to safely secure it, and how to find the nearest licensed rehabilitator. Common baby season scenarios are included!

The brochure is now available to download! Click here!

Birds

I found a baby bird flowchart
I found a bird that hit a window flowchart

Squirrels

If you find an infant squirrel, don’t panic. Mother squirrels have more than one nest and can move her infants to the secondary nest if needed. The mother will come back to retrieve her infants when she feels it is safe. If you know mother is around, leave the area so she will feel safe to come back to get her infants. It is best to observe from indoors. If you have not seen the mother after several hours, put the infant in small box and try to get it in the nearest tree or off the ground. Continue to watch from indoors to see if the mother comes back within a few hours. If the mother does not return, there are flies, or the infant is injured, please contact a licensed rehabilitator. If your cat brought home a squirrel in its mouth, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
I found a squirrel flowchart

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Deer

Mother deer very commonly leave their fawn alone, in a curled up position, while she feeds. If you see a fawn lying down without its mother, leave it alone. You may not see the mother during the day, but she is probably watching you. Stay away from the fawn so its mother will feel safe to return. If the fawn has not moved, or the mother has not returned by the next morning, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. If the fawn is injured, there is a foul odor or flies around it, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
I found an injured deer flowchart
I found a fawn flowchart

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Rabbits

If the rabbits eyes are open, ears are up, and it is larger than a tennis ball, they do NOT need rescuing. Mother rabbits only visit the nest at dusk and dawn to feed their young. The “string test” can be done by placing thin string in an “X” formation over the top of the nest. Check the nest the next morning and if the string has been disturbed then mom has been coming back to feed the babies. If you mowed over a nest and the rabbits are not injured, simply place them back in the nest and use the “string test” to make sure the mother is coming back to feed them. If the rabbit has obvious injuries, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. If your cat brought home a rabbit in its mouth, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
I found a rabbits nest flowchart

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Raccoons

Raccoon mothers will sometimes move their young to another nest once their eyes are open. If the infant’s eyes are open leave the area to give the mother a chance to come back for her infant. Watch from indoors to see if the mother comes back within a few hours. If the mother does not return, there are flies, or the infant is injured, please contact a licensed rehabilitator If the infant’s eyes are closed it will need help, please call the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. Raccoons smaller than a football are not old enough to be on their own. If there are obvious injuries, flies or the infant appears to be in very poor body condition, please call the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
I found a raccoon flowchart

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Skunks

If you find a young skunk alone that has its eyes closed, please call the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. As young skunks get older, they sometimes come out to explore while their mother is away. Most of the time, however, they don’t appear without her. If you repeatedly see a young skunk outside alone, it may be orphaned. If the skunk appears to be truly orphaned, is injured, or there are flies around it, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
Skunk caught in a trap flowchart

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Opossums

Opossums that are not injured and are over 7 inches long (excluding the tail) are old enough to be on their own and should be left alone. If the young opossum is under 7 inches and all alone, please call the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. If you find a mother opossum that is dead or hit by a car, check her pouch for infants. Any pouch infants will need help. Do not try to remove them from the pouch. Please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.

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Other Mammals

Wild mothers often leave their young to forage for food and may not be far away. If the infant is wandering around crying for hours, it may need help. If you are not sure or need advice, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.

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Turtles

If you find a turtle crossing the road, and it does not have injuries, please move it to the side of the road in the direction it was heading so it can continue its journey safely. If the turtle has injuries, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
I found a turtle flowchart

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