Tips to Saving an Injured Wildlife Animal

Cheryl Phillips

Helping those that cannot ask for help themselves shows compassion and advocacy. It is important to know the proper steps in rescuing an animal as you don’t want to cause them more harm than what they may already be in.

Before you can assist a wildlife animal, you must first know how to identify one. A wildlife animal is an animal that lives in an area without being introduced to humans. Since wildlife animals have never known a human, you must approach one carefully and in an educated manner.

A common wildlife animal in Michigan are deer. If you see a deer injured on the side of the road, or if you hit one, what should you do?

If you find an injured adult deer, keep these tips in mind.

  • Injured adult deer are unpredictable and should not be approached on a busy road way.
  • Law enforcement officers are better equipped to contain adult deer.
  • Call your local wildlife center or police department for assistance in this manner.

If you find an injured fawn, keep these tips in mind.

  • Do not touch the fawn. A mother will reject her fawns if she senses human scent.
  • Walk away cautiously and quietly. Chances are, the mother is close by and ready to protect her baby.
  • Call an expert. Local wildlife centers and police departments are trained in this area.

While deer are a common Michigan wildlife, you may meet different types of wildlife animals throughout the state or on travels. The below tips will help when encountering any type of wildlife.

 If you find a sick, injured or abandoned wildlife animal keep these tips in mind.

  • In most cases, leave the animal alone. Contact an appropriate agency in your area for advice as to how to assist the animal.
  • Never offer ANY food or liquid (including milk and water) to the animal without first consulting an expert.
  • If the animal appears to be an abandoned baby in immediate danger, it is okay to place it in a dark, warm, quiet place while you wait for advice from Emergency Rescue staff or wildlife rehabilitator.
  • Remember, it is illegal to keep/rehabilitate wildlife unless you are a certified wildlife rehabilitator. While you may mean well, animals that are rehabilitated without the knowledge of a certified wildlife rehabilitator will not survive when released back into the wild.

Following these tips, when encountering injured wildlife animals, will give you the tools needed to best help those who cannot voice their needs themselves.


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