*Questions to Ask Yourself*
How do you know if you're doing the right thing for a baby or "orphaned" animal?
Please remember that a mother does not always stay by her offspring's side throughout the entire day. Cottontail rabbits will only return to feed their babies at dawn and dusk. Deer fawns are left to blend in with their surroundings while the mother goes out to eat. Juvenile birds can and will fall out of the nest. Often, their mothers will give them a nudge to encourage them to start flying.
A baby's best chance for survival is its mother.
Q: Is the baby animal hurt or sick (bleeding, shivering, vomiting; was attacked by a cat or dog)?
A: If so, call a wildlife rehabilitator. If not, leave the animal where it is (unless there are extreme circumstances, such as being in the middle of the road). If the animal is in your yard, please take in the cats and dogs for a few hours to give the animal a chance to leave.
Q: Can you find the nest or den? Is it intact?
A: If so, put the baby back. If not, put the baby in a shallow box near the area where you found it. Give the mother a chance to come and help her baby. Stay indoors and watch from a window. The mother will not want to come back if you're standing in the yard.
Q: Did the mother come back to retrieve her baby within four to six hours?
From Healers of the Wild: People Who Care
A: If so, congratulations! If not, take the baby into your custody using the tips I gave you about handling animals, and contact a wildlife rehabilitator. Check for listings in the phone book or try calling a local vet.
for Injured and Orphaned Wildlife
By Shannon K. Jacobs
© 1998 Coyote Moon Press
PO Box 6867
Denver, CO 80206
©2011 Credit is given where credit is due.