The best way to save a sick or injured wildlife animal is to call 911.
Here are a few tips to keep your family safe.1.
While the call is a call to action, it is not a rescue call.
It is also not an attempt to rescue the animal.
An animal that has been in the care of a rescue center for at least three days, has no physical signs of distress and has not received any treatment for an injury or illness, and has no rabies shot, can be saved.
Call 911 to report an animal to the shelter and the nearest vet clinic.
If you are not sure whether or not the animal is still in need of care, call 911 to determine whether the animal needs medical care.
If the animal has already been taken into care, then the animal will likely be euthanized.2.
Call before an animal has an injury.
Animals that are sick or are injured will generally require immediate medical attention, and they may not respond to any verbal or non-verbal cues that indicate a need for immediate medical care until they are treated and transported to a vet clinic for medical care, or at least one hour.3.
Be sure the animal’s owner or caregiver is in the room.
When a zoo or wildlife rescue center is operating, people are usually not allowed to see or touch an animal until the animal receives medical care at the facility.
If your animal has been hospitalized or has received a shot or treatment for a serious injury or a rabies infection, it may not be appropriate for you to visit the animal until it is in a secure location.4.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Many zoo facilities have an entrance to a corridor or enclosure to the enclosure where animals may be kept.
If this area is closed, you may be in a difficult situation.
It may be tempting to go outside to look for a safe place to hide and may result in you getting a bite.
If possible, please wait until your animal is out of the enclosure until you can walk back in.5.
If a staff member is present, do not approach the animal if it is hiding or is not acting aggressively toward you.
Staff members are trained to keep animals safe and well.
If an animal is injured, a staff worker is required to remove the animal from the area and ensure that it is secured to a restraint or immobilized until veterinary care is administered.6.
Be alert and do not attempt to stop an animal that is not responding to any communication.
Call the local animal shelter, call the local emergency hotline, or call the nearest animal control center.
Call your local veterinarian if your animal requires medical attention.7.
If it is time to leave, keep your distance.
Be respectful of the animals surroundings and do your best to keep them safe.8.
Don’t forget to tell your neighbors, family and friends.
When it comes to protecting wildlife, neighbors and family are your best allies.
If any member of your family or friends is sick or has been injured, they will be in the best position to help.
If you are looking to take your family outdoors and are unsure if your family is eligible to participate in the zoo or Wildlife Rescue Program, contact a local wildlife rescue facility to learn more about their programs.
For additional help, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (202) 661-4000 or visit the website of the U-M Dining Services.
For more information on animal welfare, visit the U of M Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.