RESCUING WILD ANIMALS
What you need to know
We get hundreds of native wild animals brought in to us each year for various reasons. Many are injured when they arrive. Others are orphaned or abandoned by parents. If you know an animal is in need of help then please contact us for advice.
Baby animals which appear to be alone
There are times when people try to do the right thing by bringing young animals in to us which appear to be orphaned or abandoned but often disturbing the animal can be the worst thing to do.
Babies will often be left by their parents for periods of time whilst they are out hunting or foraging for food. This is no cause for concern, but if you are worried, do not touch or approach the animal, but monitor it from a distance. If the animal is still in the same place after several hours or the next day then please contact us for further advice.
Young birds may occasionally fall out of the nest. This is often nothing to worry about as mum will usually be close by and will come to help the young bird. If a young bird is on the ground for an extended period of time, we recommend contacting us for further advise as it is possible the bird could be injured or abandoned.
When young fledglings are first attemping to fly and leave the nest they may fall a few times. This is normal and nothing to worry about. If you ever see this happen, please do not approach the bird but monitor it from a distance.
Injured or ill animals
If its clear an animal is injured or it appears to be unwell we recommend calling your local vets as they can usually advise better and will hopefully be able to help the animal. Please do not try to handle or restrain the animal before seeking advice as this can stress the animal out. Wild animals will usually try to avoid humans and could end up injuring themselves further.
If the animal needs to come to us, please be careful picking up the animal. With mammals, birds and reptiles we recommend placing a small clean towel or cloth over the animal to pick it up then placing it in a secure box. If possible have another clean towel or other soft material on the base of the container to make the animal comfortable. Please do not use hay, straw or other natural bedding unless otherwise advised to.
With amphibians, if possible pick the animal up with damp hands and try to pick the animal with some moss or other moist natural substance underneath. Place the animal into a waterproof container. Make sure any container has plenty of air holes in.
If possible, try to keep the animal warm when it is contained by using a small heat pad or a warm water bottle wrapped in a cloth.
If the injury appears to be small with minimal bleeding, carefully place the animal into a secure container and place a clean towel over the animal. Animals will usually calm down when it's dark meaning their heartrate will slow down.
If bleeding appears to be heavy or the animal clearly has a large injury, where possible, apply pressure to the wound using a bandage or clean rags. Once the wound is covered you can tie the bandage or rag so it stays in place. Always seek advice as soon as possible if you come across an injured animal.
Dehydration in animals is quite rare but it does happen. Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, dry gums, skin tenting, weakness and dry nose.
Animals can be offered water from a syringe or small dish. If using a syringe, only give small amounts of water at a time. Never leave a bowl of water with the animal as it can drown if it is weak. Before offering any water, always seek advice.
Feeding wild animals
It's always nice to feed wild animals and this can be a great way to support and care for our vast array of amazing animals, but you must be careful with the animals you are feeding and the food you are using.
You can find a page detailing what to feed birds and mammals in your garden including foods to avoid and other handy hints: