Wildlife – and Wildlife Rehabilitators in Connecticut

Taken from VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center, 895 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484, Telephone: 203-929-8600, Fax: 203-944-9754,www.VCAshoreline.com

To locate and contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator http://www.cwrawildlife.org/findarehabilitator.html

CT DEEP General Info: 860-424-3000

CT DEEP Emergency Dispatch: 860-424-3333

An injured animal has been found, what should I do?

Carefully evaluate the situation before approaching the animal.  Wild animals can react strongly when fearful or in pain, causing further injury to themselves and potentially injuring the rescuer.  Some species have sharp beaks, teeth, claws and talons that could easily injure a rescuer.  Some species can carry diseases that can be transmitted from wildlife to humans.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for instruction.  If the animal is in immediate danger and needs to be relocated, wearing protective gloves or using a fluffy towel, gently scoop up the animal and place it in a secure container.  Always wash your hands after having contact with wildlife.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instruction.  If the animal appears to be stumbling, staggering, walking in circles, dragging a limb or the hind end, or is behaving strangely, do not handle the animal.  Call your local animal control officer or the DEEP for assistance.

A baby bird has fallen from its nest, what should I do?

3-BirdsContrary to popular belief, birds will not reject their young if you touch them.  Birds have little to no sense of smell.  If the bird is a newborn, place the bird back in the nest if possible.   If the nest is not accessible, place the bird in a small basket and place on a nearby branch.  If the bird is a fledgling [feathered], it is likely the young bird is learning to fly.  Most species of birds learn to fly from the ground up and should be left alone.  If predators are a concern, place the bird in a small basket on a nearby branch.  Always wash your hands after having contact with wildlife.

A bird has flown into my window, what should I do?

In the Spring/Summer months it is not uncommon to see birds “fighting” reflective surfaces.  Birds can sometimes mistake their reflection for another bird competing for resources.  Occasionally, this can cause birds to become “stunned”.  Wait 30 minutes after the bird hitting the window, the bird will likely regain its strength and fly away. If the bird does not fly away, gently place the animal, using gloves or a fluffy towel, in a dark covered container that has holes in it so the animal can breath, and keep it overnight.  If the bird is unable to fly away the next morning, it may be injured.  Always wash your hands after contact with wildlife.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instructions.

A baby squirrel has been found, what should I do?

SquirrelIf an uninjured baby squirrel is found on the ground, gentle place the animal in a basket and hang it near the trunk of the tree.  Allow the mother 4-6 hours to come back and retrieve her baby.  If the baby is untouched after that time, it is likely orphaned.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instructions.  If the baby squirrel is injured, call a wildlife rehabilitator right away.

A baby rabbit has been found, what should I do?

RabbitRabbits make shallow nests in the ground, typically with a light grassy covering.  These shallow nests allow for easy disturbance.  If you find baby rabbits, gently place them back in their nest and cover them with grasses.  Mother rabbits only visit their babies at dawn and dusk, so it is not uncommon for baby rabbits to be unattended for long periods of time.  Rabbits leave the nest at a young age, although still very small, and can often be mistaken for orphans.  It is best to leave them alone.  In the event a rabbit is injured, call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instruction.

A baby opossum has been found, what should I do?

possumWhen a young opossum has outgrown mothers pouch, they cling to her back as she goes about he business, often forging for food.  Occasionally, a baby opossum may lose its grip and fall off.  Unfortunately mother opossums are very forgetful, and it is very unlikely that she will retrieve her baby.  These babies are orphaned.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instructions.

A raccoon/skunk/fox has been found, what should I do?

SkunkFoxRaccoons, skunks and foxes are considered “rabies-vector-species”.  This means that they can carry and transmit rabies! You should not approach these species without instruction from a wildlife professional.  If the orphan appears relatively healthy, contact a wildlife rehabilitator for further instruction.  If the animal appears to be stumbling, staggering, walking in circles, dragging a limb or the hind end, or is behaving strangely, do not handle the animal.  Call your local animal control officer or the DEEP for assistance.

A deer has been found, what should I do?

  1. Deer99% of orphaned fawns are not orphans. Unless a deceased doe is found nearby, the fawn is not orphaned.  Mother deer often leave their young to avoid drawing predators to the area.  Mother dear typically do not return until dark, and can sometimes take over 24 hours to return to their fawns.  Do not touch the fawn; a mother will reject her baby if touched by humans.  Please leave the fawn alone.  If a deceased doe is found nearby, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.

2. Adult deer cannot be rehabilitated.  If an adult deer is injured, and is unable to stand or walk without assistance it should be humanely euthanized.  For help with an injured adult deer, call the local police department or the DEEP for assistance.