Baby mammals (especially FAWNS) often appear to be orphaned when, in fact, they are not. Many species of mammals leave their babies safely hidden while they are out searching for food (UP TO EIGHT HOURS WITH DEER). If you suspect a baby mammal is orphaned, patiently observe it to ensure that it needs help.
A baby animals’ best chance for survival is to be raised by its natural parents. It is imperative that you make every effort to reunite the parents with their children before you consider removing the orphan from the wild.
Remember that the parents WILL NOT reject their babies just because you have touched them. They may, however, abandon the babies if you remain too close or keep them away too long.
What to Do
Determine whether the animal is sick, injured, or orphaned. Look for signs of injury such as rapid breathing, very slow breathing, bleeding, broken bones. If you’ve seen the animal attacked by a cat or dog then there is probably some type of injury or cause for concern. Watch the animal closely but from a safe distance.
If the animal is injured, refer to the instructions below.
If the animal appears to be fine, check to see whether there is a visible nest or den, and whether the home is intact.
If the animal’s home is intact and the animal is not injured, gently pick the animal up with a towel, t-shirt or gloves and gently place the animal back in their home.
Leave the animal and watch closely for 4-6 hours to determine whether the parents are returning. Some animals, such as raccoons, should be left overnight. As long as no domestic animals are around, squirrel babies can be observed at the base of a tree: the mother will come down to collect her baby.
If the parents do not return, or the animal needs help:
If the animal is showing signs of injury, or the parents do not return, please call Critter Care (604 – 530 2064) and we will do our best to assist you with all means available.
If you determine that an animal needs to be brought to our facility, please call us first to assist you in the safe capture of the animal.
If it is an infant mammal and you are sure it is in distress and/or an orphan, place it in a box or animal carrier with a warm heat source and wrap it in a blanket.
ALWAYS USE CAUTION IN APPROACHING ANY WILD ANIMAL and where possible use gloves or a blanket rather than your bare hands for your own safety!