Healthy, Young Wildlife

Many baby animals brought to the Wildlife Center each year are not really "orphans" in need of the kind of hospital care that the Center provides. In fact, many animals brought to the Center are in need of no "help" from humans at all. They are young animals still receiving care from their parents, or young animals that are ready to live, and thrive, on their own. If you see a young wild animal, it’s best to first ask questions before intervening. Despite our natural inclinations, the best chance of survival for a young uninjured animal is often to leave it in its parents' care.

We have several guides for the most commonly encountered baby animals. Click through to read more if you find a …

Baby Bird
Baby Deer
Baby Opossum
Baby Rabbit
Baby Squirrel


If you do find a truly orphaned (or injured) young animal, prepare a lidded box for the young animal by placing a cloth or non-raveling towel on the bottom of the box. Wearing gloves [latex, gardening gloves, and/or small leather gloves], gently pick up the baby animal and place it in the box.  Please never touch a mammal barehanded; picking up a young animal without gloves increases the risk for possible rabies exposure.


Keep the box in a quiet place away from children and pets. A heating pad underneath the box [low setting] or a rice or bird-seed bag may be used to help keep the animal warm.


Unless specifically advised to do so by the Wildlife Center or a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, please do not attempt to offer food or water to a patient. Such treatment is likely to cause more harm than good. Many wild animals have very sensitive stomachs and require very special diets; baby animals can also easily aspirate, which can lead to pneumonia or death.