Orphaned & Injured Animals
Keep wildlife wild
Adult animals rarely abandon their young. What may seem like an abandoned animal is normal care for most animals. The animal may not benefit from your help.
- The adult may be out of sight gathering food.
- Removing young from their nests can disrupt the reproductive cycle of the animal.
- Wildlife carry diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to humans.
- Removing wildlife is prohibited without a proper permit.
The best care is always with the young animal’s mother.
What about deer fawns?
Deer take better care of their young than humans.
- Wait and check on it periodically. In most cases, the mother will return after you leave the area. If the fawn is not injured, the mother is likely nearby.
- Human scent on the fawn will not discourage the mother’s care.
If an animal needs help, contact:
- DNR does not provide services for injured or orphaned animals.
- A licensed wildlife rehabilitator. They are trained and have the necessary permits.
- DNR law enforcement. If the animal is sick or severely injured, call a licensed veterinarian for immediate assistance.
Before acting, ask:
- Has sufficient time passed without an adult animal nearby? The adult animal will not return with a person nearby.
- Does the animal really need help? Most young animals that seem abandoned do NOT need help.
- Will I help or harm this animal?
Interested in rehabilitating wildlife?
Many wild animals have become displaced as the result of urban growth and habitat removal. Raccoons, opossums and coyotes are becoming more common in urban areas. They can use attics for shelter, destroy shingles and soffits, and eat garbage. The DNR licenses individuals to provide nuisance wild animal control services to the public. Learn more about dealing with nuisance wildlife.