In most cases, wildlife babies should be left alone. Do not touch any wildlife unless they are in immediate danger from dogs, cats or cars. The solution to a dog or cat threatening a baby animal is not to remove the wild animal but to keep the pet restrained while any baby animals are in the neighborhood. Please remember that it is illegal to keep wild animals without a license, even for very short periods of time.
If you find a disturbed nest, return any stray young cottontails to the nest, and cover it with grass. Cottontail mothers return to the nest even if the young have been handled.
Raccoons and Fawns
Young raccoons and fawns that are found alone are almost never orphans. They are frequently left alone by their mothers for several hours at a time. Individuals concerned about young, unattended raccoons, however, should leave the animals untouched overnight. Willowbrook Wildlife Center cannot accept deer for treatment.
Opossums and Skunks
Older opossums and skunks accompany their mothers on nocturnal expeditions. If found alone, they should be left overnight. If they have not moved by morning, they may have possible become lost or orphaned.
Gray and Fox Squirrels
If there is no evidence of a leaf nest, look for a cavity-type nest. Try placing the youngsters in a box on a branch of the tree, and see if the mother will retrieve them. If she does not, or if the young are injured, they may be brought to Willowbrook Wildlife Center.
Featherless, Downy or Incompletely Feathered Birds
Find the nest, and place the young back in it. Birds are unable to detect your scent on their young. If you cannot find or reach the nest, the wildlife center will accept the birds but only if they are native species. If the nest has fallen to the ground with the bird, try to set it back in the original position, tying the nest in place if necessary.
Older Baby Birds
The parents keep track of their young and feed them for some time after they leave the nest. Leave older juvenile birds alone unless they are being attacked by a dog or cat.