If You Find Wildlife Needing Help

Some precautions

  • It is usually against the law to try to rehabilitate wildlife yourself. Always seek help as soon as you can.
  • Caring for wildlife can be hazardous. Always wear gloves. Even harmless-looking animals can inflict injuries. Wildlife can also cary diseases.

  • Where to get help

    Wildlife rehabilitators
  • Contact Great Basin Wildlife Rescue (Click here) or another wildlife rehabilitator in your area. We can give you the information you need!
  • Click here for a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators in Utah

  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • The DWR (Click here) does not do wildlife rehabilitation itself, but they are happy to help you find the resources you need. They are particularly helpful when dealing with large animals.

  • Veterinarians
  • Your local veterinarian is also a good resource. Check his/her policy regarding charges.

  • Injured Mammals or Birds

    • Seek specific help from trained rehabiliation personnel.
    • If you cannot obtain help in a timely fashion:
      • Find a carrying container. A carbdoard box with air holes will do. A cloth or paper on the bottom can be helpful.
      • Cover the animal with a towel or a cloth, pick it up, and put it in the container.
      • If it is cold, you can place a tightly closed container (plastic bottle, zip-loc bag, etc.) filled with warm water in the box. Be sure the heat source won't shift in the box and injure the animal.
      • Be sure the box is securely closed and ventillation holes are unobstructed.
      • Keep the animal as calm as possible. Avoid rapid movements and loud noises.
      • Take the animal to a trained caregiver as soon as possible.
      • Avoid giving food and water to the animal unless it is clearly necessary.

    Abandoned or Orphaned Mammals or Birds

    • Observe the animal at a distance for a period of time. It is possible that it is not really abandoned.
    • Contact a wildlife rehabilitator, if possible, for specific intructions.
    • If you cannot contact trained help:
      • Place the animal in its nest or den, if you can locate it.
      • Contrary to what you may have heard, birds do not reject young returned to their nests.
      • If you cannot locate the nest or den, place the animal in a shallow box using gloves and a towel or cloth.
      • Wait 4-6 hours to see if the mother returns.
      • If not, follow the instructions for an injured animal above.