What To Do If You Find A Wild Animal
All species differ greatly in how they care for their young (humans included). What you perceive as an abandoned baby may be typical behavior for any number of mother animals that cope with humans and other predators on a daily basis. Please read on to learn more before taking an uninjured baby animal from its natural environment.
DO NOT Attempt to Rehabilitate or Keep a Wild Animal Yourself
It is against the law.
In Nebraska you must have a special state permit to rehabilitate wildlife. To care for most birds, you must also carry a federal permit.
It can make them sick or even kill them.
Wild animals have very specific nutritional needs and can react badly to incorrect diets or medications. Feeding inappropriate formula or food or feeding an animal that is not ready to eat can cause it to die.
It can make you sick too.
Wild animals carry diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to people, including some that can be fatal to you or your children. No one should handle wildlife without the correct education and permits.
It can make them tame.
Wild animals that are not appropriately housed or handled can become habituated to people or even imprint on them. This can mean a death sentence for that animal in the wild.
It can be dangerous.
Wild animals do not react to stress and fear the way domestic animals might. When cornered or stressed, even hand-raised wild animals can lash out and scratch or bite to protect themselves, injuring the person in their path (you, your friend, or even your child). Remember, this is normal and appropriate behavior for wild animals. They are not mean or malicious - they are just protecting themselves.