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Old 10-19-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Conroe, Texas
62 posts, read 81,270 times
Reputation: 304

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At one time or another we all come across an injured or orphaned wild animal. Usually after storms or cutting down trees, and very often one that has been captued by our beloved pets. Here are some things you can do to insure the animal's survival. Also, more important - things you should not do.

First and foremost, check with your state's Parks and Wildlife Department for a listing of wildlife rehabilitators in your area. All wildlife rehabilitators must have a permit from their state government, and sometimes a federal permit as well. Your local Humane Society will also have a list of wildlife rehabilitators. Call the rehabilitator, describe the situation and follow thier instructions. If you do not make contact with a rehabber right away, here a a few things to do until someone calls you back.

OBSERVE-Watch the animal from a safe distance and note behavior, presence of bleeding, limping or inablility to hold it's head upright. Staggering or appearing "drunk" are symptoms that should be noted.

Watch baby birds to see if parents are bringing food to it, or calling to it from above. Some birds build their nests on the ground, keep pets and children away from the area, describe the nest and eggs to the rehabber and they will tell you exactly what to do. Take a photo of it if at all possible.

If a tree is felled with baby squirrels or raccoons in it, quickly check them for bleeding or obvious injuries. If they are old enough to be aggressive and defensive, just stay back away and wait. Leave the area, keep pets and children away. Give the mother time to retrieve her babies before cleaning up branches and debris. If baby birds are involved, do pick them up, place them in a temporary nest and keep them warm and quiet until you hear from a rehabber.

RESCUE - If any baby animal is on the ground alone, cold, wet, panting or trembling, crying, take the baby inside, place it in a container lined with soft material and set the container on a heating pad on the LO setting. Keep it quiet, warm and away from pets and children until you hear from a rehabber.

1. Never feed a cold baby animal. They are in shock and cannot digest any form of liquid or food.

2. Never put liquids in a baby birds mouth. Their trachea is on the back of their tongue, and open; a drop of water will drown the baby bird.

3. Never keep a wild bird or animal in your care for longer than 24 hours. Broken wings and legs do not heal on their own. Time is not on their side; if they are injured or ill, they feel pain, fear, and desparation as much as any human does. These conditions only worsen the animal's chances of survival.
Also, native wildlife are protected by state governmets and all songbirds, raptors and migratory birds are protected by both state and federal government. It is illegal to keep them as pets.

REHABILITATOR - Although all wildlife rehabilitators must have a permit issued by their state, they are strictly volunteers, and do not receive state or federal funding. Many of them are members of non-profit organizations devoted to wildlife care. Funding comes from our own pockets and from donations and fund raising events. A wildlife rehabilitator shoud never charge you a fee to take in an injured or ophaned wild animal! However, any small donation is greatly appreciated.

Rehabilitators are also juggling family, work and animal care. During peak seasons, we depend heavily on voice mail. If you reach our voice mail, please leave a message and give us at least one hour to call you back. Remain calm and patient, sometimes we have to locate another rehabber to handle your call, but we will not ignore you.

Rehabilitators will ask you to bring the animal to them, or deliver the animal to a specific facility. We are unable to leave our responsibilities to pick up animals. If you are unable to transport the animal, recruit a neighbor or relative to help. If it is late at night, a rehabilitator may give you instructions on keeping the animal warm and secure until transportation is feasable.

Finally, please understand that the issue is all about the animal's welfare. A rescue should not be treated as an opportunity for photo ops, a "learning experience" for young children, or a "pet the baby bunny" session for the neighborhood. When bringing an animal to a rehabilitator, your children will be asked to wait quietly in a certain area, and you will be expected to control them at all times. Rehabilitators are prohibited from displaying animals in their care or allowing the public to handle them.
Wildlife are very fearful of noises and smells they are not accustomed to, and can become upset and aggressive. A rehabilitators home is basically a hospital, and they strive to keep a calm, healing atmosphere for the animals in thier care.

Thank you for reading, I hope this provides some help and insight.
peep531
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
6,809 posts, read 6,891,317 times
Reputation: 20953
Excellent advice!
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:53 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
44,245 posts, read 19,906,851 times
Reputation: 114951
There's a ton of good information on here. Thanks, peep531.

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Old 11-21-2012, 04:28 PM
bjh
 
59,707 posts, read 30,164,765 times
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Some of rehabilitators will take any animal, because they never know when a rare or endangered animal might be brought in. Kudos to the people doing this work!
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Conroe, Texas
62 posts, read 81,270 times
Reputation: 304
That's true, we all hope for a rare or endangered species, that's the thrill of a lifetime for any wildlife enthusiast. But I've even taken in a baby field mouse, a red fox crusted with mange, and several obnoxious grackles. I just can't turn away a desparate, terrified creature.

I'm fortunate enough to have earned my federal permit, allowing me to handle any federally protected bird, the ultimate thrill was a few weeks ago when a mature Bald Eagle came in with a broken wing. It was such a privilege to hold him in my arms! He went straight to the raptor specialists, the wing was salvaged; but the tissue trauma to his heart was undetectable, and he died in their care. The only consolation we have is that he met the end of his life in caring, comforting hands, with as much dignity as they could afford him. The only photos I have of him show him being restrained and stablized on the treatment table. It would be an insult to him to post them.

On the other hand, we've had a surprising recovery of a Great Horned Owl. He was blinded by a head trauma, but seemed to have regained some vision in one eye. My husband's eye surgeon agreed to examine him for us. He closed his office on a weekday afternoon to accommodate the owl, and used some amazing diagnostic equipment. We learned although his right eye was beyond recovery, his left eye will regain full vision. He will recover and be released back to the wild.

This wonderful doctor donated his time, his staff's time and equipment and knowledge. His generosity was overwhelming to us!
peep
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:06 PM
 
7,339 posts, read 12,557,569 times
Reputation: 9873
Got an injured, lonely baby mockingbird in our courtyard right now. Thanks so much, Peep, for your advice from 2012. We will take it in and keep it warm overnight, and take it to Project Wildlife Rescue in San Diego tomorrow. The poor parents have been calling for it for two days--we've been looking for it, and our dog found it. Is there any chance the parents might feed it if we put it up somewhere safe and high tomorrow? Any other advice from anybody?
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:53 PM
 
734 posts, read 1,629,109 times
Reputation: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Fork Fantast View Post
Got an injured, lonely baby mockingbird in our courtyard right now. Thanks so much, Peep, for your advice from 2012. We will take it in and keep it warm overnight, and take it to Project Wildlife Rescue in San Diego tomorrow. The poor parents have been calling for it for two days--we've been looking for it, and our dog found it. Is there any chance the parents might feed it if we put it up somewhere safe and high tomorrow? Any other advice from anybody?
If it's injured, it needs to go to a rehab. If it just fell out of the nest, it can be returned but not sure after 2 days.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:13 AM
 
7,339 posts, read 12,557,569 times
Reputation: 9873
Quote:
Originally Posted by J5K5LY View Post
If it's injured, it needs to go to a rehab. If it just fell out of the nest, it can be returned but not sure after 2 days.
Thanks--we'll evaluate it in the morning. We don't know exactly where the nest is, but we have a general idea. Right now it is snug in a box with air holes, on a heating pad at low heat.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:56 PM
 
7,339 posts, read 12,557,569 times
Reputation: 9873
Thought you might like an update: the baby mockingbird is now safe at the rescue facility. It spent the night in its box on the heating pad in the house, and was alive and well in the morning. They checked it out at the facility, and said that it was not injured (fully feathered, cute little wings, hardly any tail) and if it had been more developed they'd have told us to just bring it back and let the parents feed it on the ground, but since it is still so little they'll raise it with a bunch of other mockingbird chicks they've been getting in. For some reason they're seeing a lot of mockingbird babies falling out of nests this season.

We asked where it will be released, and they release the birds in the general area where they were found! We thought that was a good attitude. We still don't know how it is supposed to learn to fly, but I guess that is out of our hands now.

The parents were still looking for it and calling this morning , and when we brought the box to the car they were flying back and forth over our heads, but interestingly, they haven't made the calling sound since we got back from the facility. They probably know, somehow. I have way more respect for "bird brains" than I used to have.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:01 PM
 
734 posts, read 1,629,109 times
Reputation: 907
Good job!
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