Help!  I found a baby ... and I think it needs help.

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Please contact a rehabber immediately if you see a baby who is exhibiting the following signs / situations:

(These guidelines are for baby or immature wildlife only, not adult animals.)

Fawns 

The baby has been crying (a “maaappp” sound) for more than 1 hour 

 The baby is injured or has been attacked by another animal

 The baby is lying on its side, stretched out, cold to the touch, and cold inside the mouth 

The baby walks directly up to humans

 The edges of the ears are curled (indicates dehydration) 

The baby is in a dangerous place (e.g., in water, on a high ledge or trapped in a fenced in area or parking lot)

 The doe is dead 


Raccoons

 The baby has been crying continuously

The baby remains in the same spot for 24 hours

The eyes are closed and the baby is alone 

The baby is lying on its side, stretched out, and cold to the touch 

The baby is injured or has been attacked by another animal 

The mother is dead or has been removed and relocated more than 24 hours previously 

The baby walks non-aggressively up to humans 


Skunks

The baby is crying continually (making a mewling sound like a kitten) 

The eyes are closed and it is out of the den

The baby is lying on its side, stretched out, and cold to the touch

The baby is injured or has been attacked by another animal

 The mother is dead or has been removed or relocated more than 24 hours previously 





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Squirrels

The baby is crying (making a high, almost continuously pitched squeal sound) for any length of time 

The baby has flies or maggots on it

The eyes are still closed and the baby is out of its nest

 The baby walks directly up to humans 

The baby is injured or has been attacked by another animal 

The mother is dead or has been removed or relocated more than 24 hours previously 


Rabbits

The baby is crying (making a high-pitched scream) 

The nest is flooded or totally destroyed, especially if other babies nearby are dead

The baby is cold or looks overly thin (indicates dehydration)

 The mother is dead or has abandoned the nest (cross sticks over the nest in a pattern; wait 12 to 24 hours before checking the nest again to see if it has been disturbed) 

The baby has been attacked or is injured

The eyes are closed and the baby is out of its nest 


Woodchucks

The eyes are closed and the baby is out of its den

 The baby is injured or has been attacked by another animal

 The baby is lying on its side, stretched out, and is cold to the touch

 The mother is dead or has been removed or relocated more than 24 hours previously 


Foxes

 The eyes are closed and the baby is out of its den 

The baby is injured or has been attacked by another animal

 The baby is lying on its side, stretched out, and cold to the touch

 The mother is dead or has been removed or relocated more than 24 hours previously 


Source: Wildlife Rescue Guide, Wild & Free, Inc., Layton, NJ

Birds

The statement, “if you handle baby birds, the mother will reject them” is NOT TRUE!


Feathered song birds or fledglings 

Baby birds are often seen fully feathered but trying to fly, with the parents nearby. These are fledglings. If they look bright and alert, it is best to leave them alone. If possible, keep cats and dogs away from the area for a few days in which time the birds will learn to fly. The parents will continue to care for them even though they are on the ground. If you are not sure the parents are nearby and you are concerned, you may put the bird in a nearby bush or on a tree branch and observe from inside the house for a few hours. If the mother sees you in the yard she will not come near.


Nestling song birds (partially feathered)

 If the baby bird is bright, alert, and opening it’s mouth for food, you can put it back in the nest. If it is not gaping (opening it’s mouth for food) or is cold, it may need special attention. In addition, if a bird is injured, it needs help and cannot be placed back in the nest. Birds that are cat caught are assumed to be injured although they may not appear to be. If a bird is featherless, it needs heat.

• Since some baby birds need to eat every 1/2 hour or so, it is important to contact a rehabilitator as soon as possible for instructions if it cannot be put back in the nest or the mother is gone.