If you encounter a sick, injured, or orphaned wild animal, the webpage link below will help you quickly find a qualified wildlife rehabilitator near you. Before removing what you believe to be an orphaned animal, please take a moment to review the Leave Baby Wildlife Alone brochure.
Picking up Injured Wildlife
- There is almost never an occasion when you should remove a baby wild animal from its natural environment.
- It is always better to call a wildlife rehabilitator to remove or assess a wild animal.
- If you’ve already picked up a young animal, put it back exactly where you found it, or under/in a shrub nearby where its mother can find it.
Determining Whether Wildlife is Injured, Sick, or Orphaned
- Before you assume an animal is in trouble, wait and watch: young animals are often left alone for hours at a time while their parents gather food.
- If an animal is shivering, obviously injured, or if its parents have been killed, then call a wildlife rehabilitator.
- Sick animals will often be very lethargic and may sneeze, drool, pant, shiver, or sit ruffled.
- Injured animals may limp, drag limbs, or have obvious wounds.
- If the sick or injured animal is a large game animal, such as a deer, javelina, mountain lion, or bear, or a potential danger to handlers, such as a coyote or large bird, call the closest Arizona Game and Fish Department office or Radio Dispatch at 623-236-7201.
I found a Bird. Does it Need Help?
- Birds often fall out of nests.
- Young birds often spend a few days on or near the ground while they are learning to fly but are still being fed by their parents.
- Place a fallen bird in a tree or shrub or on a shaded portion of a roof, out of the way of cats, dogs, and children.
- If you can safely reach the nest, you can put it back. It’s a myth that bird parents will reject their young if they smell like people.
- If a baby bird shows obvious signs of illness or injury, call a wildlife rehabilitator.
I Found a Deer or Elk. Does it Need Help?
- Deer and elk mothers leave their fawns lying alone for the entire day while they feed.
- Orphaned deer and elk that are hand-raised lose their fear of people and become dangerous as they mature, especially the males and they cannot be returned to the wild and often have to be euthanized.
- If you have taken a young deer or elk from the wild, immediately take it back to exactly where you found it. Do NOT release it in a different location; its mother will not find it.
- If you cannot return it to the wild, call the closest Arizona Game and Fish Department office immediately. After normal business hours call the Department’s Radio Dispatch Room at 623 236-7201.
Many rehabilitators are specialists with particular types of animals, others will provide care for all species. Some wildlife rehabilitators, although located in major metropolitan areas, operate statewide. If you need additional assistance you can also contact the nearest Arizona Game and Fish Department regional office, also listed in the link below.
For concerns about young hummingbirds, in or out of nests statewide, call Noreen Geyer-Kordosky at 520 240-2686. Noreen also offers a free PowerPoint program “Hummingbirds: Natural History” for both children (4th-12th grade) and adults (60-90 minute including time for questions) in the Tucson area. To schedule a presentation, email Noreen at firstname.lastname@example.org