Wild animals and birds are not like our pets, and requirements for their physical care, well-being and socialization are very specialized. Our vets, rehabilitators and volunteers are specially trained and experienced with all of our native species, and we know just what to do for these animals and birds to help them and give them the best chance for a free, healthy life. Members of the public can help injured and orphaned wildlife if they bring it directly to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for help.
Lots of time the animal doesn't have a problem. Many people wrongly assume that babies have been abandoned by their parents when parents are usually close by. A fairly large percentage of animals we get in spring and summer are actually “kidnapped” Many animals like deer, or rabbits “park” their babies while they forage for food. The baby also avoids unwanted attention of predators if it is unaccompanied and hiding. Even though we give our patients the very best of expert care, they will always do better with their parents.
IF YOU'VE FOUND A BABY ANIMAL:
- Make every attempt to reunite it with its mother. Place birds back in the nest if possible, and if not, place it in a basket or margarine tube with holes punched in the bottom for drainage. Line with grass and place as high as possible in the tree where the nest was. Bird moms have very little sense of smell, and they'll definitely take their babies back if they are in the vicinity.
- Place bunnies back in their nest underneath their original covering. You'll probably never see the bunny mom because she only feeds her babies after dark or before dawn, and only remains for a few minutes.
- If the babies are injured, remove the injured ones and contact a rehabilitator.
- While waiting for the rehabilitator, keep the animal or bird in a warm, dark, quiet, place, and DO NOT FEED IT OR GIVE IT WATER. We constantly get birds or animals that people have fed incorrectly, and many are near death or have pneumonia because they've been given the wrong food or water was placed in their trachea.
- NEVER give baby birds, worms, bread or milk. Never feed skim milk, Karo syrup or raw eggs to animals. Call us at (812)546-6318 or check the rehabilitator listing on the front page.