When to Rescue Orphaned Wildlife

When you saw a baby animal all alone, it probably crossed your mind that it could be lost or orphaned. And with the best intentions, you picked it up, wrapped in a towel, and brought it over to your local wildlife rescue center. Our friends at the Wildlife Rescue, Inc., a Baltimore County non-profit wildlife rescue, say that this is how animals get “kidnapped” and separated from their parents. They sent us this video that explains under which circumstances you should or should not rescue a fawn. https://youtu.be/ZoLaF4oawKs

General Wildlife Rescue Tips

Here is some advice that applies not only to fawns but to any kind of Maryland wildlife you may encounter:

  • Leave the animal alone unless it appears to be in distress or is in an unsafe location. In most cases, the baby animal’s parents are nearby but scared to come out because of your presence.
  • If you have an opportunity, move back to a safe distance and watch whether the parent animal returns.
  • If the parent doesn’t return after 2-3 hours, call an animal rescue center for advice. Some baby animals are more independent than others, and it will depend on the species whether the absence of parents should be considered alarming or not.
  • If an animal appears injured or you are sure it’s lost, put on gloves, wrap the animal in a towel and place it in a cardboard box with holes or an animal carrier, then take it to your local wildlife rescue center.
  • Don’t give an injured animal food or water, especially milk.
  • Don’t keep an orphaned animal as a pet.

Visit the Wildlife Rescue, Inc.’s website for more information and rescue tips. If you encounter a full-grown animal on your property, don’t attempt to handle it yourself. There is always a risk of rabies and other diseases when you handle wildlife. If it’s a nuisance animal, contact Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control right away and we’ll ensure its humane removal and rehabilitation.