If you find an injured animal
Even an animal with minor injuries can die of shock when it becomes scared, and humans are very scary to a wild animal. The most important thing to do when you find an injured animal is to keep it in a quiet, dark, and warm place.
Helping an Injured Animal…
- Do not hold or bother the animal, and do not feed.
- When picking up the animal, don’t put yourself at risk.
- Be careful: raptors have powerful talons, and mammals will try to scratch or bite when scared. Use gloves when attempting to catch the animal. And call a rehabilitator first so they can talk you through proper handling and capture.
- If the species is a Rabies Vector Species (in NY: raccoons, bats & skunks), do not touch the animal and call your local animal control officer, police department, CT DEEP Dispatch (860-424-3333) or the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (845-256-3098) immediately for assistance.
- If the animal is immobile outside, you can put a box over the animal to keep it quiet and calm until help arrives. Keep any pets inside and away from the animal.
Did you know that many baby animals that are found on their own outside should be left where they are? Animal mothers are better at looking after their babies than humans are, so if possible always make sure the babies stay with their mothers. Many mothers have special nutrients in their milk that their babies need and that formulas cannot replicate.
If you find a baby animal, make every effort to reunite it with its parents. This may be just a matter of letting it be. Watch the baby from a distance for several hours, if possible, to determine whether it is an orphan.
Whatever happens, do not raise the baby yourself. Wild animals have special needs, and it is illegal in New York, as in most other states, for residents to possess most native wildlife.
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