Found Baby Animal

Nicole Koller
Secondary Teacher
Governor Mifflin Senior High School

610-775-5089
nkoller@gmsd.k12.pa.us

What to do if you find a baby animal

  1. I know you want to help, but "helping" a wild animal usually means it will die from the stress of captivity.
  2. Leave it where you found it.   Its parents can take much better care of it than any human can.  Touching it can tranfer harmful bacteria from you to the animal.  Remember, babies don't have fully developed immune systems, and some bacteria that are harmless to humans are deadly to other animlas.
  3. If it is a baby bird, the parents will attempt to take care of it on the ground.  If you know where the nest is, you can put it back.  It is a myth that the parents will be scared away from the nest by your scent. 
  4. Baby rabbits can take care of themselves once they are the size of a golf ball.  If your dog gets it, it may recover if you put it back near the mother's nest.  If your cat gets a bunny, it will likely die of infection.
  5. Under no circumstances should you give a baby animal cow's milk.  Evaporated milk is even worse.  They cannot digest it, and will likely die of dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. 
  6. If you don't see a dead mother, put the baby back, and mom will come get it when she thinks it is safe.  Leave the area so mom can come for the baby.
  7. Wash your hands with hot, soapy water for at least 30 seconds before and after handling a wild animal.  (Remember, touching it is a last resort!)  Hand sanitizer kills viruses but not bacteria, and the alcohol can irritate the animal's skin and eyes.
  8. Never ever ever ever ever touch a wild raccoon, bat, skunk, or fox.  These are the most likely animals to carry rabies.  If you turn it in to a shelter or rehabilitation center, they will have to destroy it and test it for rabies because you came into contact with it.
  9. Mrs. Koller does not have the proper licenses to care for a wild animal.  I can get arrested or fined for possessing one, and so can you.  Those laws protect you and I from disease, and they have teh best interest of the animals in mind.
GOVERNOR MIFFLIN school district
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