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Injured, Sick or Orphaned Wildlife
 

The Arizona Game and Fish Department Wildlife Center can be reached at 623 582-9806 for questions on injured, sick, or orphaned wildlife.

Picking up injured wildlife

  • There is almost NEVER an occasion when you should remove a baby wild animal from its natural environment.
  • 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 rehabilitator.
  • 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 nests.
  • 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 children.
  • 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 rehabilitator.

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 it.
  • 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.

 

 

 

 
Related AZGFD Info
- Chronic Wasting Disease
- Wildlife Center
- Special Permits
- No Feeding Wildlife Law
- Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators
 

Leave Baby Wildlife Alone

 

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