FOUND AN INJURED ANIMAL?
Please read below to hepl determine if the animal is truly in need of care or should be left alone.
What To Do If You Find A Wild Animal
All species differ greatly in how they care for their young (humans included). What you perceive as an abandoned baby may be typical behavior for any number of mother animals that cope with humans and other predators on a daily basis. Please read on to learn more before taking an uninjured baby animal from its natural environment.
Squirrels & Chipmunks
If You Find a Baby Bird...
Is the bird injured (bleeding, broken bones, puncture wounds, been in a cat's mouth, open wounds, etc.)?
If YES, the bird will need our help. Call us for instructions
If NO, see below.
Is the bird fully feathered?
If YES, the baby bird is probably a fledgling. Fledgling birds are supposed to be out of their nests and are learning to fly. Fledglings need several days or weeks to learn how to fly and forage for food. Their parents will continue to feed them during this period. Leave the area and do your best to keep pets and children away from the bird. The parents will not feed the fledgling while people are around.
If NO, attempt to find the nest. An uninjured bird found on the ground with few or no feathers needs to be returned to the nest. Look in nearby trees and bushes to see if you can locate the nest.
Can you find/reach the nest?
If YES, and the bird is warm, simply put the bird in the nest. If the baby is cold, warm it in your hands before returning it to the nest.
If NO, you can't locate the nest or are unable to reach it with a ladder, or if the original nest is destroyed, you might be able to make a substitute nest for the bab(ies) or they may need to be taken to a wildlife rehabilitator. Contact us for more information.
Once you've returned the baby to the nest, you can watch from a safe distance, preferably indoors. Many wild birds will not return to the nest if you are visible. If a parent does not visit the baby within a few hours, call us for more information.
If You Find a Baby Squirrel(or chipmunk)...
If a baby squirrel is injured, it will need our help. Call is for instructions on how to get it to Airmid Place.
If a baby squirrel is down on the ground alone and there have been no activities in the area to knock it out of the nest (i.e. storm, high winds, tree trimming) and it is easily caught by hand, it will need to be brought to Airmid Place for help.
If a baby squirrel is following people, dogs or cats, it is orphaned and will need to be brought to Airmid Place.
If there is a nest of baby squirrels and the mother is known to be dead, the babies will need to be brought to Airmid Place.
If a nest of baby squirrels is blown out of a tree or comes out of a tree that is cut down, place the baby squirrels and whatever is left of their nest (if anything) in a shallow cardboard box, along with a hot water bottle to keep them warm. As long as it is during the day time and it is not heavily raining, place the box as close to the base of the original tree from which it came and leave the area for several hours to give the mother the chance to return for them If, after 4-6 hours (or after it gets dark), the baby squirrels have not been picked up by their mother, please bring the babies to Airmid Place.
If you find a nest of baby squirrels in your grill or under the hood of your car, place the baby squirrels and whatever is left of their nest (if anything) in a shallow cardboard box, along with a hot water bottle to keep them warm. As long as it is during the day time and it is not heavily raining, place the box as close to the grill or car from which it came and leave the area for several hours to give the mother the chance to return for them If, after 4-6 hours (or after it gets dark), the baby squirrels have not been picked up by their mother, please bring the babies to Airmid Place.
If You Find a Baby Rabbit...
If a baby bunny is injured, it will need our help. Call us for instructions on how to get it to Airmid Place.
If the baby is not injured:
The female cottontail rabbit can make her nest anywhere. She spends all day and night grazing nearby and feeds her young for only about 5 minutes twice a day. If you have a nest in your yard, please leave it alone! Babies are weaned and on their own in 2 or 3 weeks, when they are about the size of a woman's fist. Please work around them during the time they are in their nest. If you need to mow, or if a dog or cat is bothering the nest, place the top half of a cat carrier over the nest, and place a large brick or rock on top of it. This will keep predators from the nest, but still allow the mother to slip underneath to feed them. Do not move a rabbit nest, even if it's only a small distance away from the original nest! The mother will not be able to find a relocated nest, and the babies will starve to death.
If you think a nest of bunnies has been abandoned or the mother is dead, make an "X" or tic-tac-toe pattern out of grass or dental floss and lay it across the nest. Leave the nest alone for 24 hours. Do not approach the nest, and do not stand anywhere in the yard, even from a distance, to watch for it. The mother will not come when you are there or if you are making frequent visits to the nest. If after 24 hours the grass or floss has been moved, the mother has been there to feed her young. If it has not, gently collect the bunnies into a towel-lined box, and Airmid Place.
Leave bunnies alone if they have fur and are out of the nest and are not injured. Rabbits may "freeze" in one position in the presence of danger. If a baby bunny is fully furred and out of it's nest, leave it alone! Do not pick it up, even if you can get close enough to do so. It is independent of its mother and will move on in a few days.
Have a Wild Animal That Needs Help?
DO NOT Attempt to Rehabilitate or Keep a Wild Animal Yourself
If a baby raccoon is injured, it will need our help. Call us for instructions on how to get it to Airmid Place.
If a baby raccoon has its eyes closed and you cannot locate its den, it will also need our help.
If you find a baby raccoon of any age that is out during the day time and is very easy to catch by hand, it probably has been orphaned and will need our help. Please get it to Airmid Place for evaluation.
If you find a den of baby raccoons (in your chimney, eaves, or elsewhere), and the mother is with them, DO NOT remove the babies from their den. Instead, encourage the raccoon to move out of your home, using a radio and coyote urine. Give the mother raccoon at least 48 hours to move all of her babies out of your house and to another den. Next, follow the instructions to prevent her, or any other animal, from moving back in. One way you can tell if the mom is still with the babies is if they are generally quiet throughout the day and night. They will make some noise when they are talking to their mom and each other, but will mostly sleep. If you hear wailing from the baby raccoons for long hours at a time, they might be orphaned. Please contact us with questions.
Before you decide to pick-up a wild animal and bring it in for care, please do the following:
If the animal is not injured or orphaned, please leave it be.
If after talking to us or reading this page, you decide the animal actually needs help, please do the following:
Using gloves, place the animal in a cardboard box or cat carrier lined with a towel or t-shirt.
Keep it warm with a heating pad set on low or a plastic bottle filled with warm water.
Keep it in a dark, quiet place, away from children and pets, until you can get it to us.
Use extreme caution when handling wildlife! Always place a barrier between the animal and your hands (gloves and/or a heavy towel) and do not allow children to handle wildlife! Report any bites or scratches immediately.
It is against the law.
In Ohio you must have a special state permit to rehabilitate wildlife. To care for most birds, you must also carry a federal permit.
It can make them sick or even kill them.
Wild animals have very specific nutritional needs and can react badly to incorrect diets or medications. Feeding inappropriate formula or food or feeding an animal that is not ready to eat can cause it to die.
It can make you sick too.
Wild animals carry diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to people, including some that can be fatal to you or your children. No one should handle wildlife without the correct education and permits.
It can make them tame.
Wild animals that are not appropriately housed or handled can become habituated to people or even imprint on them. This can mean a death sentence for that animal in the wild.
It can be dangerous.
Wild animals do not react to stress and fear the way domestic animals might. When cornered or stressed, even hand-raised wild animals can lash out and scratch or bite to protect themselves, injuring the person in their path (you, your friend, or even your child). Remember, this is normal and appropriate behavior for wild animals. They are not mean or malicious - they are just protecting themselves.