More often than not, young wildlife found on their own should be left where they are. In most cases the animal that you’ve encountered is simply growing and learning how to survive in the world, and your “help” may actually cause more harm than good.
The animal’s mother is its very best chance for survival. You may not see the mother – even if you watch all day, but she is likely nearby. Unless you have proof that the mother is dead, do not move or touch the baby. The parents are likely still caring for it. If the baby has already been moved, you should immediately return it to where it was found and simply leave it be.
The mother will not abandon the baby if you have touched it, but leaving your scent on the baby may attract predators that did not otherwise know the baby was there.
NEVER feed wildlife, especially young animals. All wildlife consumes a very special diet that cow milk or other formulas and foods cannot replicate. Feeding wildlife can cause it to get sick and die.
If a bird’s nest has fallen you may put it back. If you cannot reach the nest location or if it was damaged, try to fashion a new one out of a small basket or bowl lined with grass and hang it as close as possible to the original location. The mother will find it and will continue caring for her young.
If you find a nest of rabbits leave it alone. Put a small fence around the nest if you have dogs or cats that may disturb it, but remember the mother rabbit must still be able to get to her nest. A mother rabbit will only visit her nest at night to avoid attracting predators. If you visit the nest too often you will create a scent path that predators can follow to the nest. If the rabbits have fur and their eyes are open they are old enough to be on their own and they do not need their mothers care.
If you are absolutely certain that the mother is dead, contact the Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center for guidance. Only a certified wildlife rehabilitation center may care for orphaned wild animals.
If you encounter wildlife in need of help call the Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center as soon as possible for guidance. Do not feed or give water to the animal. If possible, contain the animal in a well ventilated box in a dark and quiet area. This will minimize stress on the animal.
Wild animals have special needs and it is against the law to keep wildlife in your home. Only a certified PA wildlife rehabilitation center may care for injured or orphaned animal.