Picking up injured wildlife
- There is almost NEVER an occasion when you
should remove a baby wild animal from its natural
- It is always better to call a wildlife
rehabilitator to remove or assess a wild
animal than to do it yourself.
- If you've already picked up a young animal,
please 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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.