Please Call 908-730-8300
ext 4 with wildlife
concerns & do not give food or water! Do not email, we can respond
faster to phone calls.
Click the photos for species specific information
Click Here to find a NJ wildlife rehabilitator near you
If you find an infant squirrel, don’t panic. Mother squirrels have more than one nest and she will move her babies to the secondary nest if necessary. The mother will come back to retrieve her babies when she feels it’s safe. If you know the mother is around, leave the area so she will feel safe to come back. It is best to observe from indoors. If you have not seen the mother after several hours, put the infant in small box and try to get it in the nearest tree or off the ground. Continue to watch from indoors to see if the mother comes back within a few hours. If she does not return, there are flies, or the infant is injured, please contact a licensed rehabilitator. If your cat brought home a squirrel in its mouth, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
Fox kits generally will not be seen alone outside of their den when young. As the kits get older they begin to explore outside their den. If you see one or more kits wandering around an area for more than a couple of hours and there is no sign of their mother, they might be orphaned. From a distance or inside, watch the area and activity. If the kits do not go back to their den by dusk, please call a wildlife rehabilitator for advice.
Mother deer very commonly leave their fawn alone, in a curled up position, while she feeds. If you see a fawn lying down without its mother, leave it alone. You may not see its mother during the day, but she is probably watching you. Stay away from the fawn so its mother will feel safe to return. If the fawn has not moved, or the mother has not returned by the next morning, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. If the fawn is injured, there is a foul odor or flies around it, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you for advice.
If the rabbits eyes are open, ears are up, and it is larger than a tennis ball, they are old enough to be on their own and do NOT need rescuing. Mother rabbits only visit the nest at dusk and dawn to feed the infants. The “string test” can be done by placing thin string in an “X” formation over the top of the nest. Check the nest the next morning and if the string has been disturbed then the mother has been coming back to feed the infants. If you mowed over a nest and the rabbits are not injured, simply place them back in the nest and use the “string test” to make sure the mother is coming back to feed them. If the rabbit has obvious injuries, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. If your cat brought home a rabbit in its mouth, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
Raccoon mothers will sometimes move her infants to another nest once their eyes are open. If the infant's eyes are open leave the area to give the mother a chance to come back for it. Watch from indoors to see if the mother comes back within a few hours. If the mother does not return, there are flies, or the infant is injured, please contact a licensed rehabilitator. If the infant's eyes are closed it will need help, please call the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. Raccoons smaller than a football are not old enough to be on their own. If there are obvious injuries, flies or the infant appears to be in very poor body condition, please call the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
If you find an infant skunk alone that has its eyes closed, please call the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. As infant skunks get older, they sometimes come out to explore while their mother is away. Most of the time, however, they don’t appear without her. If you repeatedly see an infant outside alone, it may be orphaned. If the skunk appears to be truly orphaned, is injured, or there are flies around it, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
*To remove the smell of skunk, combine 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, and a splash of dish detergent in a spray bottle. STIR do not shake! Apply generously to the area. Discard the rest of the solution. Recipe may be halved if less is needed.
Opossums that are not injured and are over 7 inches long (excluding the tail) are old enough to be on their own and should be left alone. If the baby is under 7 inches and all alone, please call the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. If you find a mother opossum that is dead or hit by a car, check her pouch for infants. Any pouch infants will need help. Do not try to remove them from the pouch. Please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
If you find a turtle crossing the road, and it does not have injuries, please move it to the side of the road in the direction it was heading so it can continue its journey safely. If the turtle has injuries, please contact the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.
What To Do If You Find an Orphaned
Don't Rush!! - It may not be orphaned at all. Wild young
must go out and about with Mom in order to learn how to make it
on their own. Mom may not be in sight when you came along.
Observe - Gather as much information as possible about the
animal. What kind? Is there blood or flies? Is it moving? Is it
making noises? Is it plump and round or scrawny and thin?
Leave the area - If there are no apparent injuries, leave
the area for a while. This will give you a chance to call for advice
and it will give the wild Mom a chance to retrieve her young.
Return - With the advice you have been given, you can now
safely do what is best for both the animal and yourself.
What To Do If You Find an Injured Wild Animal:
Don't panic or rush!! - You could put yourself in danger
and/or cause more injury to the animal.
Don't touch!! - Unless it has to be moved out of immediate
danger (such as the road). Then you must protect yourself. Never
handle injured animals without creating a barrier between it and
you. For example, use heavy gloves, a blanket, net, box or board.
Do not feed!! - Keep animal warm, dark and quiet.
Call for help or advice - Do not attempt to take care of
wild animals yourself. This is for your safety.
Click Here to visit our
Black Bear information page.