I've found an injured or orphaned animal...

What do I do next?

If you encounter orphaned or injured wildlife, here is what you should do:

  1. Stop, look carefully. Look around and note what you see in the environment surrounding the injured or orphaned animal so that you can provide a wildlife rehabilitator with an idea of how the animal got hurt. If it is a larger animal, make sure there is no sign of any other animal of the same species in the area. Take photographs if possible.
  2. Contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility close to the area (SEE MAP BELOW FOR CLOSEST ONE TO YOU):
    Cochrane Ecological Institute (403 932 5632)
    Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (403 239 2488) www.calgarywildlife.org
    Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (403-946-2361) https://www.aiwc.ca/
    Medicine River Wildlife Centre (403)728-3467 www.medicineriverwildlifecentre.ca
    Wild North, Edmonton (780) 297-3979 www.wildnorth.ca
  3. The Rehabilitation Facility will provide you with directions as to how to proceed.
  4. If you, a member of the public, are part of the rescue plan, think carefully about how you are going to go about the rescue, plan what you are going to do to carry out the directions you have received from the Rehabilitation Facility, and then act with confidence. This will take a little time but it is time well spent. Following a plan and acting with confidence will keep you safer and will reassure the animal you are handling.
  5. Check to see if you have a blanket, a coat, or something big enough to cover the animal, and check to see if you have gloves. Check to see if you have a box or crate to carry the animal in. If the animal is lying helpless on the ground, cover it carefully with a blanket or a coat. Once it is in the dark it is less likely to fight you and more likely to relax.
  6. If it is a bird of prey, baby or adult, make sure the cloth/blanket/coat covers its head and its feet. The talons of birds of prey are the most dangerous part of the bird, but with their feet and their heads well covered up it is fairly easy and safe to handle them.
  7. Talk gently to it as you would to a domestic animal.
  8. If the animal appears to be an orphan, LOOK around very carefully before you touch it. Baby bunnies/hares and deer fawns should be left alone unless you see the mother dead beside the fawn. These species often leave their young alone for long periods of time while they forage for food.
  9. Once wrapped in the cloth/blanket/coat/ you have covered it with, pick the animal up and put it in a box.
  10. Do not show the animal to anyone except for those involved in the rescue plan. The goal is to minimize shock for the animal.
  11. Leave the box in a cool dark quiet place until you can either get it to a rehab facility or a rehab facility volunteer can collect it.
  12. Do not worry about feeding the animal.


Disclaimer: We can not accept ungulate fawns from the CWD area. To view a map of CWD areas click the button below, or to find out more about Chronic wasting Disease click here.