If you have determined, with the assistance of a wildlife rehabilitator, that wildlife (such as native birds and small mammals) needs to be rescued, exercise caution in capturing and transporting it. Only adults should be involved in the actual rescue effort.
Steps for Rescuing and Transporting Wildlife
Follow these steps when rescuing wildlife:
- Protect yourself and wear gloves to avoid being bitten or scratched. Even sick wildlife will attempt to protect themselves.
- Prepare a covered container, preferably with a clean, soft cloth; a temporary container can be a paper sack. Be sure there are no strings or loops on the bottom of the selected container. If the container doesn’t have air holes, make some. A dog/cat carrier can also be used.
- Approach the animal very slowly so as not to stress it or make it flee.
- Throw a blanket, towel, or cloth over the wild animal and gently place it in the prepared container.
- The animal will need to be kept warm. Place the container on a heating pad set on low; an alternative is to microwave a bag of rice and wrap that rice bag in a towel.
- Tape the box shut or roll the top of the paper bag closed. If a dog/cat carrier is used, be sure the door is secured.
- Place the box in a warm, quiet, dark place and avoid excess handling. Keep children and pets away.
- Never offer food or drink unless the wildlife rehabilitator instructs you to.
- Note exactly where the wildlife was found, as the exact location of the rescued wildlife will be very important for release.
- Wash your hands after contact with wildlife to prevent the spread of diseases and/or parasites to you or your pets.
- Don’t keep the wildlife at your home longer than necessary. Be sure the container is secured; don’t let the wildlife loose in your house or vehicle.
Do not attempt to capture birds of prey and larger and/or dangerous mammals.
In some instances, a Havahart Live Animal trap is recommended, combined with professional assistance.