LIST OF COMMONLY ENCOUNTERED WILDLIFE For specific details on what to do when you find one of these wildlife species, visit wildohio.gov/staywild

White-tailed Deer (Fawns) Raccoons Rabbits Squirrels Baby Birds Turtles

INJURED OR ORPHANED

REMEMBER … • Never chase a baby animal to capture it. The stress can

be dangerous to a young animal which can lead to damage to internal organs, and even death.

WILDLIFE?

• Never give food or water to injured or orphaned wild-

life. Inappropriate food can lead to sickness or death. Fawns in particular have very sensitive stomachs and require a special diet.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

• Each animal's nutritional, housing, and handling re-

quirements are very specific and must be met if they have any chance of survival.

WHY SHOULD WE KEEP WILDLIFE WILD?

IF YOU TAKE ME FROM THE WILD, THERE IS A 90% CHANCE I WILL NOT SURVIVE.

• A baby wild animal’s best chance for survival is with

its mother. •W  ild animals are born to live their lives in the wild,

not in a house or a cage. • An animal that has become habituated to humans

For more specific information on how to best help each species, or to contact a wildlife rehabilitator, visit wildohio.gov/staywild

cannot be returned to the wild. •O  nce they grow, wild animals are active and indepen-

dent, which can make them dangerous and destructive. • Wild animals have complex nutritional needs not eas-

ily met in captivity. Nutritional deficiencies can leave an animal deformed for life. • Wild animals can carry diseases and parasites, some

of which are transmissible to people or pets. Some diseases, like rabies, can cause serious human health problems. • I t is illegal to possess, restrain, or keep any wild

animal. The purpose of the law is to protect wild animal populations and to protect people from disease and injury.

DIVISION OF WILDLIFE Headquarters 2045 Morse Road, Bldg. G Columbus 43229-6693 (614) 265‑6300 (Voice) 1-800-WILDLIFE Hearing Impaired call Ohio Relay

District Three 912 Portage Lakes Drive Akron 44319 (330) 644‑2293

District One 1500 Dublin Road Columbus 43215 (614) 644‑3925

District Four 360 E. State Street Athens 45701 (740) 589-9930

District Two 952 Lima Avenue Findlay 45840 (419) 424‑5000

District Five 1076 Old Springfield Pike Xenia 45385 (937) 372‑9261

PUBLICATION 5310

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

GOOD INTENTIONS CAN HURT. LEAVE WILDLIFE IN THE WILD.

GOOD INTENTIONS CAN HURT.

LEAVE WILDLIFE IN THE WILD. PHOTO BY MENNO SCHAEFER

DIVISION OF WILDLIFE w i l d o h i o. g ov

Have you found a baby wild animal?

IS THE ANIMAL REALLY ABANDONED? Wildlife parents are very devoted to their young and rarely abandon them. Many species are only raised by the mother. Baby wildlife must be left alone the majority of the time while the mother ventures off to find food for herself and her young.

In the spring and early summer you may have the good fortune of observing a baby animal in the wild. Often, the baby you see will be unattended by a parent. Unless something seems amiss, keep your distance and leave it alone. Human intervention is always a wild animal’s LAST resort for survival, NEVER its best hope. Assess the situation by answering the following questions.

The best thing to do is to keep your distance, and keep children and pets away from the young animal. Wild animals can carry parasites or diseases that can be harmful to humans and pets. Wild animals also defend themselves by scratching or biting.

Do any of these apply? • It is bleeding, has an open wound, or has a broken bone.

If you see open wounds or other injuries, or you know without a doubt that a young wild animal has lost its parent, consult your nearest Wildlife District Office or local wildlife rehabilitator. Do not attempt to capture or feed it until expert guidance is provided to you. Also, limit contact with the animal to reduce stress and the possibility of it becoming habituated. Taming a young animal will make it unreleasable in the wild. It is illegal to keep wildlife without a rehabilitators permit. Rehabilitators go through extensive training on how to raise and treat young and injured wildlife. Leave it to the professionals and you’ll greatly increase the animal’s chance of survival.

It is natural for young wildlife to be left alone.

• It is covered in fly eggs [look like small grains of rice].

YES

WHAT DO I DO IF AN ANIMAL IS TRULY ABANDONED OR INJURED?

I AM NOT LOST.

• It has been crying for more than one day. • It appears weak AND is lying on its side.

The baby is likely injured or orphaned. Contact the nearest permitted wildlife rehabilitator for treatment.

I AM NOT A PET.

• It was attacked by a pet. The more time you spend in the area the more

Go to wildohio.gov/staywild for specially trained rehabilitators.

likely YOU are to attract

When moving a

predators to

fawn, the young deer

NO Is it in a dangerous location?

It is illegal to keep wildlife withSome young are born

out a rehabilitators

nearly scentless.

permit.

not stay with their young. • T he mother is likely nearby; only returning for quick feedings.

NO Leave the baby animal alone! The baby animal is healthy and waiting for mom to return. Keep children and pets away. Monitor from a distance and reassess the situation the next day. Mothers will usually return and move the baby to a new location. Visit wildohio.gov/staywild for more specific information on how to best help each species.

may try to follow you as your leave. Face it away from the direction in which you

YES

plan to leave it so it cannot watch you.

The baby can be moved a short distance to a safer location. After moving the baby animal, quickly leave the area. Do not linger. If possible, you can monitor from afar with binoculars.

• To avoid attracting predators adults do

the location.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT HARMING YOUNG WILDLIFE? •C  heck for nests before cutting down trees or clearing

brush. Autumn and winter is the best time for outdoor maintenance to avoid nesting seasons. •C  ap chimneys, vents, and window wells to prevent ani-

mals from nesting there or getting trapped. •K  eep pets under control to prevent wildlife from

becoming injured. •E  ducate friends and family about the importance of

respecting wild animals. They are not pets and will not behave as pets.

I AM NOT HELPLESS.

Caring about wildlife means understanding it is born to live in the

If you cannot

wild – not in a house or a cage.

reach a baby bird’s nest, try placing the baby into a makeshift nest, like a basket, off of the ground.

Injured or Orphaned Wildlife? - Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife

NOT SURVIVE. REMEMBER … • Never chase a baby animal to capture it. The stress can be dangerous to a young animal which can lead to damage to internal ...

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