What to do when you meet an injured animal

You are out on a game drive or nature walk, when you spot an injured animal; a sad, orphaned, injured and begging to be rescued wild animal. Your instinct is to save it-to be the hero.

But before you put your cape on, you should know you could be making matters worse. No matter how good you intentions, there are some thing you should never do when you see an injured animal in the wild.

Do not do anything before calling the wildlife authorities or the wildlife rescue

You know the expression “leave it to the pros”? This is a wonderful opportunity to use it and act on it. You animal-loving heart may be breaking to see an animal suffer but unless you are a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian, odds are you do not know how to assess and handle the situation best.

Unless the animal is in imminent danger (like being run over), reach for your phone, not the animal and call the local wildlife rescue.

Do not assume it is orphaned

Sometimes like a baby human, a baby animal can look confused and all alone in the wild but their parent could have just gone hunting for a few minutes and will be right back. By removing the baby, you could be unintentionally separating a family. In other cases, the adults may just be giving their babies some space but are watching close by.

A mama Bear will not care that you wanted to babysit her cubs one bit and could attack. The best bet is to watch the baby animals from a distance and see if their parent returns or if they are indeed orphaned.

Do not touch it

Not only some species like birds, rabbits and monkeys be extremely stressed to the point of death, but others like raccoons and chimpanzee can bite. Being handled by a human can also lead to tragic ostracizing by the animal’s herd as one group of animal lovers found out the hard way as they tried to save a shivering baby Bison in Yellowstone Park.

Do not plan to keep it as a pet

We have all seen the stories online: a rescued baby raccoon who thinks she is a dog, an adopted squirrel that sleeps under the covers, a rescued fox turned mans best friend. While that sounds like the magic stuff out of the Disney movies, odds of that fairytale panning out are slim.

Not only is keeping wild animals as pets illegal in some areas, its unsafe. Wild animals belong in the wild and could attack you and your pets if domesticated.

Do not feed it

Depending on the injury the animal has, feeding it or forcing it to drink might be fatal. Giving it something it can not properly process like milk or bread may also cause bigger stomach issues.

Do not talk all the way to the vet or rescue center

While you may be tempted to reassure the animal a thousand times that everything is going to be ok and that you will make sure they are alright, resist the urge while transporting them to a wildlife rescue center.

The animal doesn’t know you or your voice or what in the world is happening to them, so the talking will most likely stress them out and frighten them even more. Keep the radio off and the talking to a minimum. Article(edited) by Natalia Lima through Causes 2 care.

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