A small rabbit who appears alone in the grass. Mother rabbits leave their babies and return to feed them throughout the day. If it is four inches long with open eyes and erect ears, it is independent from its mother and able to fend for itself.
A bird who is fully feathered on his body with evidence of tail feathers, hopping on the ground, but unable to fly. This is a fledgling (adolescent bird), and his parents are probably nearby. This is how baby birds learn to fly.
A fawn (baby deer) who is curled up in the grass and appears approachable. The mother is most likely out of sight, but nearby and watching you. Deer leave their babies when they go to forage for their own food and come back to the babies throughout the day. If you have any questions or concerns about a fawn, please call Fawn Rescue at 707-931-4550. They are the fawn experts.
Click the button to the left to see a useful flowchart of what to do. For more specifics, please see below.
*Remember we are the ultimate predator. A mother will hide if we are near and will not come back for her babies until she feels it is safe. If you find babies and there are no clear signs that the mother has been killed, leave the babies and check on them in a day to see if she has come back for them.If they are warm and fat a mother is most likely around and there is no reason to rescue them.*
An opossum who is nine to ten inches or longer, not including the tail and has all of its teeth. It is independent.
How to Tell if a Baby is Orphaned
Many wildlife parents leave their young alone during the day, sometimes for long periods. The parent is usually nearby and quite conscious of her young. Also, keep in mind that despite their small size, many young animals are actually independent enough to fend for themselves. Remember, many animals who appear to be orphaned are not.
Do not attempt to rescue animals in any of the following circumstances:
Baby foxes seen without their parents. If the foxes are energetic and playful, the parents are away hunting and the kits are having fun. If they appear sick or lethargic, call the hotline.
A squirrel who is nearly full sized, has a full and fluffy tail, and is able to run, jump, and climb. It is independent. Sometimes they fall from the nest and can be placed back up in the tree and the mother will take it back.
Hotline: (707) 526-WILD(9453) ~ Business Office: (707) 992-0274 ~ Exclusion Service (707) 992-0276~ Fax (707) 992-0720
Location: 403 Mecham Rd, Petaluma CA 94952
Mailing Address: PO Box 448, Cotati CA 94931
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