Sometimes our WILD neighbors need a little help if they have been orphaned or injured. While many well-meaning people have the desire to care for these critters in need, you should be aware of state laws that regulate the care of wild animals. Removing wildlife from its environment is prohibited without a state or federal permit. It is against the law to take an orphaned wild animal and try to make it a pet.
As a major proponent of environmental conservation of native and exotic wildlife, Animalia works closely to advise local and national organizations protecting species and habitats.
Many times when people find what appears to be abandoned or orphan wildlife, this is not actually the case. The apparent lack of an adult animal does not necessarily mean a young animal is alone. Adults often leave their young alone, safe in nests or dens while they forage for food, but rarely do they abandon their young. The best way to make sure an animal is truly orphaned is to wait and check it periodically. If you are unsure, place some strings or sticks across the nest. If such items are later disturbed, the mother has returned. In such a situation, leave the young animal alone. The adult will return after you leave the area.
Learn more at your state’s DNR website and look under wildlife rehabilitation. If you find a wild animal that truly needs help, contact a licensed rehabilitator immediately. To learn more about Wildlife Rehabilitation in the State of Indiana and to view the complete listing of rehabilitators throughout Indiana as published by the IDNR Division of Fish and Wildlife, click Indiana DNR Wildlife Rehabilitation