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Wildlife Rescue Resources

Updated: Apr 2



Spring!  It’s the time of year when animals start coming out again after staying hidden away during the winter.  If you spend any time outside, you’ll see rabbits, squirrels, birds, bats, racoons, and many other creatures hunting for food, searching for mates, and making nests and cozy homes for the babies that are soon to come.   While these animals are considered wild, there are times when they need our help.  Whether injured, abandoned, or sick, a wild animal can be tricky to care for if you don’t know what you are doing, so it is important to seek help from experienced wildlife rescuers, such as Hancock Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation.   However, there are things you can do if you find yourself with an animal that needs your help.


Preventative Steps


Of course, the best way to help wildlife is to do what we can to prevent injuries and illnesses in the first place.  Here are just a few ideas of things you can do to help the animals in your area.


  • Help Migrating Birds – Turn off lights or close curtains at night and put window decals or screens on windows to prevent birds from flying into the glass.

  • Yard Vigilance – Before you get out that lawn mower or hedge trimmer, check to make sure there aren’t any animals hiding or nesting where you need to work.

  • Protect The Nests – If you know you have a nest in your yard that kids or pets could easily get to, consider cutting 2 small, critter-sized “doorways” out of a laundry basket, and placing it over the top of the nest with some heavy rocks to weigh it down.

  • Leave No Trace – When you are out enjoying nature, try to leave the area better than you found it.  This means picking up litter, staying on designated paths, and keeping dogs on leashes.

 



You’ve Found a Baby Wild Animal




Not all babies that are alone have been abandoned.  Many times, mom has just left to gather food or supplies for the nest.  Other times, you simply haven’t observed the nest during the right hours.  Rabbits, for example, are usually away from their babies during the day and only come back at dusk.  However, if the baby is truly orphaned, do not try to raise it on your own. It stands a better chance of surviving with the help of an experienced wildlife rescue.




Hancock Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation says there are signs that a baby need help and you should call a wildlife rescue for assistance:


  • You know the mother is dead.

  • The baby is cold.

  • The baby is covered in insects.

  • The baby has injuries.

  • The baby was in the mouth of another animal (even the family dog’s).

  • The baby animal is a bat (Never handle a bat bare-handed).


You’ve Found an Injured Animal


We’ve all come across an injured animal at some point.  A bird that has fallen from its nest and hurt its wing.  A raccoon that has been hit by a car.  A bunny that was caught by the family dog and is still alive.  Most of us wish there was something we could do to help, but we don’t always know how. 


Hancock Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation gives the followings step that YOU can take to

help an injured animal.


  1. Safely contain the animal in a container with air holes.

  2. Do NOT feed the animal.

  3. If you have to keep it overnight, line the container with a towel, place a heating pad on one side, and offer a bowl of shallow water.

  4. Contact your wildlife rescue as soon as possible.

 


Wildlife Misconceptions




Questions abound regarding wildlife behavior, such as whether touching a baby bunny will lead to abandonment or if a daytime raccoon spells trouble. Contrary to common beliefs, touching baby animals doesn't prompt maternal rejection, but it's still best to maintain a respectful distance. Likewise, daytime activity in raccoons and other nocturnal animals isn't necessarily a sign of illness.

 




 


For Wildlife Questions or Rescue/Rehab Services



Within Indiana (Outside Hancock County) – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Outside Indiana – Animal Help Now

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