Wild animals can be very dangerous. If you are uncomfortable handling the injured animal, please call Florida Wildlife Hospital for advice. We may send a trained volunteer if one is available, or you may contact your local Animal Services Department. Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement can be reached at 633-2024 ext. 1.
DO NOT HANDLE raccoons, fox, skunks, bats, otters, bobcats, or unknown dogs and cats. These animals are considered to be high risk RABIES carriers. Being scratched or bitten by one of these animals may require an expensive series of injections for you, and/or euthanasia and testing for the animal.
Mammals are regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Migratory birds are regulated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. There are many laws that protect these animals.
Professional wildlife rehabilitators have special permits which allow qualified individuals to temporarily possess orphaned and injured wildlife for treatment. Taking care of wildlife is a huge responsibility, with each species requiring specialized handling, medications, diets and caging. Feeding the wrong diet to an animal can be fatal. Many website contain incorrect information about animal diets and you can do irreversible harm by following their recommendations. If you are interested in wildlife rehabilitation, contact your local wildlife center to volunteer.
Most baby birds found on the ground are not orphaned and may not need human assistance. Look for the parents or a nest. If you see either one, leave the baby alone or put it back in the nest. Touching the baby will not cause the parents to abandon it. Watch from a distance and keep children and pets away from the area. If the baby is injured or the parents have not returned after several hours, it will need help. Babies should be kept warm and quiet and be handled as little as possible to reduce stress. Call a licensed rehabilitator for advice.
If you find a baby squirrel that has fallen out of its nest and does NOT appear to be injured, you can either find the nest and put it back or leave the baby at the base of the tree. Unlike birds, squirrels and other mammals can pick up and carry their babies back to the nest. Keep away from the area to allow the mother to come down. She will not come down if there are pets and people around. If the baby appears sick or injured or has flies or ants nearby, take it to a licensed rehabilitator.
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