If you are having a problem with a wild animal invading your home or business and are looking for a humane alternative to a Pest Company, please visit our *Wildlife Problem* page for easy solutions.

If you have a wildlife emergency, as in, an injured or orphaned wild animal, please read the emergency information below. If you still need help, read our contact information below.

Baby Orphaned Squirrels


To report poaching, polluting of habitat, etc.
please call the Fish & Game Hotline at
(888) DFG-CALTIP


For Emergencies at NIGHT (between 9pm and 8am) Please call (415) 300-6359


MAMMALS ONLY In the San Francisco Bay Area ONLY:

Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue – (510) 421-9897:

At the present time, due to loss of our main facility, we can only accept baby mammals at our small center. For injured adult animals and birds, you can drop the animal(s) at:

  • Montclair Veterinary Hospital located at 1961 Mountain Blvd. Oakland, CA 94611 – (510) 339-8600 
  • Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek  (NATIVES ONLY) – (925) 935-1978
  • Sulpher Creek in Hayward – (510) 881-6747
  • Ohlone Wildlife in Fremont – (510) 797-9449
  • WildCare in San Rafael – (415) 456-SAVE

San Francisco Rescue Orphaned Mammal Program (SFROMP) – (415) 350-WILD or (415) 554-9400


FOR BIRDS and Adult Injured Wildlife in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek  (NATIVES ONLY) – (925) 935-1978
  • Sulpher Creek in Hayward – (510) 881-6747
  • Ohlone Wildlife in Fremont – (510) 797-9449
  • WildCare in San Rafael – (415) 456-SAVE
  • Or look up your nearest Wildlife Center

FOR WATER BIRDS:

Contact the International Bird Rescue and Research Center Wildlife hospital at: (707) 207-0380 ext. 110


 

WILDLIFE EMERGENCIES Outside the SF Bay Area:

For all other areas, please find the wildlife center nearest you on this Regional Map

In California: To find a wildlife rehabilitation center nearest you in California, visit this  List of California Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers

 

National (or international): search for a Wildlife Rehabilitator, you can try Wildlife International.

I HAVE A WILDLIFE EMERGENCY – WHAT DO I DO?


If you have found an injured or orphaned wild animal:

  • Do not give the animal any food or water. A captured animal will get food and water stuck in its fur/feathers potentially leading to discomfort and hypothermia. Feeding an animal an incorrect diet can result in injury or death.
  • Keep the animal warm. Place birds in a tissue-filled shoebox or other small box and larger animals in a larger box with a towel. Make sure the box has holes in the lid. If you have a heatingpad, place the box halfway on the heatingpad and set the heatingpad to LOW only.
  • Keep the animal in a dark, quiet place.
  • Leave the animal alone; don’t handle or bother it. Keep children and pets away.

ATTENTION

If the animal you have found is a bat, skunk, fox or coyote, do not handle the animal with bare hands. Because these animals are rabies-vector species, they MUST be handled with gloves or towels !  It is a strict rule in California that if someone touches a rabies-vector animal directly, the animal MUST be euthanized and tested for rabies to ensure the health and safety of the finder and the community.


Raising an Orphaned Animal

Raising a wild animal from babyhood is a tremendously challenging process. For instance, raising a wild bird properly takes 2 to 4 months of intensive care. During this time, naked and pre-feathered nestlings must be fed every 20 to 30 minutes from dawn to dusk (roughly 14 hours) every day. Skipping any feedings or feeding the wrong diet during this critical period can result in irreversible deformities that may not be seen until the animal is a juvenile. Each animal species has specific caloric and natural diet needs and babies need to be taught how to recognize, find and eat these foods in order to survive in the wild. Once self-feeding, they also need weeks in a large, protected outdoor flight aviary or cage to build up muscles and skills that will allow them to compete in their natural environment. Wildlife rehabilitators are equipped with the proper licensing, have extensive knowledge of nutritional and dietary requirements, and have the facilities to properly raise wild patients. All ill, injured or orphaned wild animals must be brought to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator if they are to have any chance at survival.
Keeping a wild animal in the State of California is against the law if you do not have the proper permits and licenses, even if you plan to release the animal. If you are interested in participating in the raising of the wildlife baby you have found, please let us know and we would be happy to sign you up as a volunteer, train you and involve you in the upbringing and release of the animal you found.

I found a baby songbird. What do I do?

While parent birds will accept a baby back if it has been touched by humans, the stress on the bird can be detrimental. If a baby is naked (without feathers or with few feathers) the requirement for immediate action is much higher.

For many bird species, leaving the nest before being flighted is a natural part of adolescence. Young birds with developing feathers frequently take up residence on the ground in the grass or bushes near their old nest where they continue to be fed and taught by their parents. Some things to keep in mind about birds:

* Parent birds will continue to feed their babies after you have touched them.
Most birds have a poor sense of smell and parent birds won’t know you have touched their baby. Baby birds can be returned to the nest! Parent birds will even be foster parents for an abandoned baby of the same species and age of their own young.


* Parent birds will search for their babies even after 24 to 48 hours of absence.
Most birds have their own territories. Even if the nest and babies are gone, the parents remain in their home territory, waiting to welcome their babies home.


* Birds only need to be rescued if they are:

  • injured
  • caught by a cat or dog
  • icy cold
  • naked (no feathers)
  • orphaned

* Symptoms of an Injury or Illness:

  • Falling over on one side
  • Unable to flutter wings
  • Weak or shivering
  • Attacked by cat or dog
  • Wing tweaked upward
  • Wing drooping
  • Feathers fluffed
  • Bleeding

Has the Bird Been Abandoned?
Watch for the parents… observe the baby bird continuously for 60 to 90 minutes from a distance of 50 feet. Watch carefully; the parents will fly in and out quickly.

If you have the bird in a box, check the feces…

  • Clear with white poop (or green bile) indicates a baby bird is not being fed, and is likely abandoned.
  • Color in the poop indicates that the parents are feeding the baby, and the bird should be put back where it was found.

Fallen Babies:
Naked and pin-feathered birds should be kept warm while trying to locate their nest. The babies will get chilled quickly.

An entire nest of birds can be placed in a small tissue-filled wicker basket or butter tub with drainage holes in the bottom. Nail the basket or tub to a tree in a location safe from crows and hawks (with some tree-cover). Be sure that a branch shields the nestlings from sunburn.

One single baby must be returned to the original nest with its siblings. Parent birds will only sit on and feed the babies in one nest. If the nestling cannot be returned, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center.

Fledglings:

These birds have feathers and short tails and can perch, hop or walk. They are learning to fly, a process that may take two weeks. Fledglings should be left alone to practice hopping and fluttering from low shrub branches to the ground. The parents are close by, and continue to feed the babies until they learn to fly and eat on their own. Parents will guide the fledglings into the bushes at night to hide from predators.

To return a fledgling to its territory after it has been brought indoors:

  • Keep pets and children indoors so the parents will return to their baby.
  • If a bird can perch on your finger, place it in a bush near the area you found it.
  • If you found the bird in a high-traffic area, move it to a nearby safe area under the cover of bushes. Don’t worry – Parents communicate with their young by a series of voice calls. As long as a fledgling is placed in its home territory, the parents will be able to locate it and move it to a safe location.
  • At a distance, (indoors is best) watch continuously for one hour for the parents to return. If the parents don’t return, call your local wildlife rehabilitation center immediately.

I found a Hummingbird. How can I help it?

If you find an injured or orphaned hummingbird on the ground, lift it along with the material it is sitting on, and place it on crumpled tissue in a shoebox with holes in the lid. Always use tissue or paper towels, NOT cloth—the bird’s feet may become entangled in the cloth.

Call your local wildlife rehabilitation center immediately. Hummingbirds will die within four hours if not fed. Hummingbird babies that are fed sugarwater or commercial hummingbird nectar for more than 24 hours may develop crippling deformities.

Never attempt to remove baby hummingbirds from their nest. Young hummingbirds secure themselves to the nest by weaving their tiny toes around the nest fabric. So firm is their hold, that if lifted from the nest, most often the legs are left behind.

I found a baby jackrabbit. Is it orphaned?

It can be very difficult to tell if a baby jackrabbit is orphaned. Some facts to keep in mind about jackrabbit behavior:

* Jackrabbits are “precocial,” meaning they are born fully furred with their eyes open, and will start nibbling greens within a week.
* A baby jackrabbit is called a leveret. A leveret’s main defense when threatened is to freeze, which is often mistaken by people as being calm. The animal is not calm, it is terrified.
* The mother jackrabbit separates her litter for a better chance of some babies surviving.
* There is no nest! Jackrabbit young will stay hidden in the grass, shrubs, or other ground-level growth where the mother leaves them.
* The mother only comes to feed the young two or three times a day. Otherwise, the young jackrabbits are left alone. Even if you are watching carefully, you may not see the mother jackrabbit return to her young. Do not assume the babies are orphaned simply because you do not see the mother!
* Leverets will wander a bit. When the mother returns to the area, she calls to her young and they come to nurse.
* Never try to feed a leveret, they have very delicate digestive systems.
* Jackrabbits are extremely high-stress animals; they can die from fear.
* Jackrabbits have very strong hind limbs and if restrained may kick out hard enough to break their own backs.

I found a baby deer (fawn). What do I do?

* The mother only comes to feed the young two or three times a day. Otherwise, the young fawns are left alone while their mother is out searching for food to make more milk. Even if you are watching carefully, you may not see the mother return to her young. Do not assume the baby(s) are orphaned simply because you do not see the mother! Fawns will wander a bit. When the mother returns to the area, she calls to her young and they come to nurse.

If a fawn is seen lying upright, eyes wide open, but flattened to the ground, do not touch it. This is a fawn’s camouflage position. It blends with its surroundings. When it is picked up it will hold its legs tight against its body with its head forward. Its legs are not broken. Sometimes the fawn allows its body to become limp and dangle in your hands. Put it down, walk away and leave it alone. This fawn is too small to follow the doe for the long distance she must travel to find enough food to make milk for her baby. A doe may leave her baby alone for up to 6 hours at a time in her search to find food. Doe’s milk is very rich and will sustain the fawn for the many hours it spends alone. The doe will return only when there are no humans nearby. Do not sit and wait for her to return. If you have removed the fawn from its resting spot take it back at once and walk away. The doe will be searching for her fawn.

* Deer are extremely high-stress animals; they can die from fear. Petting the fawn, talking to it, holding it, does not comfort it. This is a wild animal. Human voices, odor and touch only add to the stress and will cause additional harm besides the illness or injury. When a fawn seems calm it may be in shock.

If a fawn is obviously ill, lying on its side, kicking, crying – pick it up and place it in a quiet place. A light cloth placed over the animal’s head will sometimes calm it. Keep it away from pets and all human activity.  If the weather is cold, a blanket may be placed over its body to keep it from becoming chilled. In hot weather a cool location, out of drafts, and call your local wildlife center.

*Deer have sensitive digestive tracts. DO NOT FEED THE FAWN ANYTHING other than water. Baby formula, cow’s milk, feed store mixes, pet store domestic animal formulas, soy products – will cause scouring, dehydration and death. CALL A WILDLIFE CENTER at once for help.

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