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Question What do I do if I see an injured or abandoned animal?

Answer People often call to find out how to care for young wildlife they think is in need of human help. In most cases the wildlife is not orphaned or abandoned at all. The parents are probably near by, waiting for you to leave so they can return to their offspring. Animals often leave their young while they go off to feed or attend to other things, but they invariably return. Baby birds do not leave the nest as accomplished fliers. If they are fully feathered and on the ground or flying awkwardly, it is usually just a case of them learning how to fly. It takes time, but it is best to leave them alone, although it's a good idea to keep your cat indoors until the fledgling can fly. If you are certain an animal is in need of assistance, call your regional DEC office. They can put you in touch with a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator who is trained in such matters. Wild animals can carry diseases that are communicable to humans. Also, it is against the law for unlicensed people to possess wild animals. See our ‘If you Care' webpage for more information.

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If you care, you'll leave them there.

Information on the injured or orphaned wildlife

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