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What Do I Do If…


Many well-intentioned people want to immediately help injured or orphaned wildlife they may come across when outdoors.

Never put your own safety at risk trying to help an animal. Wild animals will defend themselves when approached regardless of your good intentions.

  • Please call a wildlife rehabilitator before trying to help injured wildlife. They can provide specific advise on how to proceed without you or the animal getting hurt.
  • Transport the injured wildlife to a licensed rehabilitator as soon as possible.
  • If you find a baby animal or bird leave it alone for its mother to return. Baby birds can be returned to their nest, if it’s accessible.

Check on the other pages of “What Do I Do If…” for information on different species.

Disclaimer: The MWRA is not responsible for the injury of anyone who chooses to handle wildlife that is being transported to a rehabilitator.


Please DO NOT email a Wildlife Rehabilitator or Wildlife Rehabilitation facility regarding sick or injured wildlife – these injuries MUST be taken care of immediately. PLEASE call and if you cannot get through at first please keep trying AND leave a message. During the summer Wildlife Rehabilitators may receive up to 150 phone calls every day—so please be patient and understanding in order that they may help the wildlife needing their services. Thank you.


All information on this and other pages of “What Do I Do If…” is the work of Brittany Davis of Second Chance Wildlife Center (Gaithersburg, MD).