Handling Sick, Injured or Dead Wildlife
Please note - we do not advocate the handling of sick, injured, or dead animals without proper training. Individuals who do this, do it at their own risk and should be aware of the dangers. You could be injured and or exposed to a zoonotic disease, a disease of wildlife that can be transmitted to humans.
Additional information on zoonoses can be found here:
- USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Avian Zoonotic Diseases: Work Smart, Stay Safe [online presentation]
- USGS National Wildlife Health Center - Zoonotic Diseases (Mammalian): Work Smart, Stay Safe [online presentation]
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention - National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases [website]
Find Contacts for Specific Information on Wildlife in your State/Province
The capture, handling, or possession of native wildlife is controlled in the United States and Canada through federal and state/provincial regulations; a similar situation exists in many other countries. The links below may help you determine what is required in your locality.
Find a Wildlife Rehabilitator in Your Area
Many countries require special permits to capture, handle, or possess native wildlife. Some jurisdictions allow temporary possession and transport of sick or injured animals to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
The links below may help you find additional information and an appropriate facility:
- WildlifeHabber.org – Rehabbers by State [United States]
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory [International]
- Nature Canada – What you should do if you find a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal [Canada]
- National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association [United States & Canada]