WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU FIND A SICK, INJURED OR ORPHANED WILD ANIMAL
Wildlife belongs in the wild. Occasionally, people will find juvenile wildlife that appears to be orphaned, sick or injured. The public should avoid handling wildlife to prevent bites and scratches. Some species can carry diseases and parasites that are harmful to humans. Injured wildlife also requires specialized and immediate care to recover and return to the wild. Under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, a person may only keep wildlife for 24 hours to transport it to a wildlife custodian for care or medical attention or to relocate it following capture as a problem animal.
Juvenile wild animals do not make good pets
because they become difficult to handle as they grow. Once used to humans,
released animals are not likely to survive in the wild because they do not
have the necessary skills to stay alive. They may also be attracted to
people, leading to their eventual death. Wild animals can also be attracted
to properties that provide shelter and/or food, resulting in conflict and
Just because a young animal is alone does not mean it is orphaned. It is normal for some species to leave their offspring temporarily alone, especially during the day. For example, deer and cottontail rabbits spend much of the day away from their well-camouflaged offspring to minimize the chance of predators finding them.
An exception would be the Virginia opossum, which spend the first three months of life in the female’s pouch. If you find a juvenile opossum alone, it is safe to assume that it is in need of help.
To determine if young wildlife is truly orphaned:
Signs of orphaning, injury or illness may include:
The best approach is always to leave a juvenile wild animal alone unless you are certain it has been abandoned or it is injured.
If you find an injured, sick or orphaned wild animal, contact a wildlife custodian who can provide the specialized and immediate care necessary to help the animal. If you must handle it, seek the advice of a wildlife custodian to minimize risk of injury to yourself and to the animal. Wear protective clothing and equipment, such as leather gloves, to avoid bites or scratches, and wash hands well after handling the animal.
visit http://ontariospca.ca/ , call 1-888-668-7722 or the Ontario SPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre at 705-534-4350.
Diseased or Dead Wildlife
If you suspect there is a public health risk from a sick wild animal, such as rabies, or you or your pet had contact with a suspected rabid animal, contact your local Public Health Unit immediately. Rabies is fatal for humans and animals if not treated. Symptoms of rabies and several other diseases in animals can include tremors, aggressive behaviour, partial paralysis, convulsions, and loss of fear of humans.
To report a dead crow, raven or blue-jay bird contact your local Public Health Unit. To report other dead animals or birds contact the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC).
call 1-866-532-3161 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, or visit www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/contact/phu/phuloc_mn.html for a list of offices.
call 1-866-673-4781, or visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/toce.shtml
Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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