Found an animal

Found an Animal? Here’s what to do…

If you find an animal in need of help, CROW’s Wildlife Hospital staff is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven (7) days a week, including holidays. Please call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222 prior to taking things into your own hands as not all animals require assistance. Staff will provide directions to safely contain the animal and direct you to the nearest drop-off location or arrange for a volunteer or staff member to assist in the rescue. Please always wear protective gear such as goggles and gloves when possible! We have convenient drop-off locations around Lee County (listed below).

Keep a Safe Distance

Please remember, you should not automatically approach or handle injured wildlife. Certain animals should only be handled by experienced rescuers, particularly if they are ill or injured. Disturbing animals can lead to unnecessary stress or further injury and you could put yourself at risk.

If You Must Intervene

Many times, the finder provides an animal’s only chance of getting the help they need. If you must intervene, the first step in a wildlife rescue is capture. Before taking action, however, remember that wild animals are easily frightened and may become defensive if cornered. Protect yourself, and follow these suggestions to make the process as safe and efficient as possible.

*Rabies Vector Species (RVS) are wild animals at a greater risk of contracting the rabies virus. Simply because they are at higher risk DOES NOT mean they have rabies. In the United States, human rabies cases are rare with less than three cases reported each year. Even as a wildlife medicine clinic, we seldom see suspect rabies cases.

RABIES VECTOR SPECIES (RVS) Include: raccoons, otters, skunks, foxes, bats, bobcats, and coyotes; however ANY warm-blooded animal is susceptible to the rabies virus. Please always use extreme caution and ample protection- thick gloves like gardening gloves, heavy boots, and eye protection are encouraged when taking action with any injured wild animal. Should you ever feel uncomfortable in any situation, please ALWAYS call us!

BIRD…

BUNNY…

SQUIRREL…

RACCOON OR OTTER…

BABY MAMMAL…

RESCUE TIPS

FOR AFTER-HOURS EMERGENCIES

In Lee County or surrounding areas

Secure the animal in a box or other suitable carrier and take it to Blue Pearl Pet Hospital at Daniels Parkway and I-75 (9500 Marketplace Road, Fort Myers, Florida).

This is a CROW-partner, 24-hour drop-off location. (There is NO drop-off fee for CROW patients!) Be sure to fill out the finder’s form with your contact information, location the animal was found and its injuries!

**Please be advised, Blue Pearl Pet Hospital does NOT accept adult Raccoons or Bats.

On Sanibel & Captiva

Bring the animal to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital (once on CROW property, take a left at the Visitor Education Center and follow the gravel road to the end of the drive). If not already secured in a box, you may place the animal in one of CROW’s pet carriers at the bottom of the stairs. Please follow the directions posted by the carriers to fill out the finder’s form AND call/text the number provided to leave a message so we know an animal has been dropped off.

Reptiles

  • Turtles

    Keep the turtle in a box with a dry towel or rag. Please do not dampen the linens as it can increase the risk of hypothermia and cause secondary issues. DO NOT put the turtle in water, and NEVER attempt to repair a broken shell.

  • Tortoise

    Keep the tortoise in a box with a dry towel or rag. Please do not dampen the linens as it can increase the risk of hypothermia and cause secondary issues. DO NOT put a tortoise in the water, and NEVER attempt to repair a broken shell.

Birds

  • Adult Birds

    Keep in a covered, ventilated box or crate. Wild birds injure themselves in birdcages, but cardboard boxes with air holes work very well. A towel on the bottom of the box for the bird to stand on is ideal but not necessary.

    During holding or transport, keep in a dark, quiet place as close to room temperature as possible.

    *Woodpeckers and Anhingas can only be placed on pillowcases or sheets as their beaks/tongues can become stuck in towel fibers.  

  • Baby Birds

    Not all baby birds are in need of rescue!! Regardless of the situation, please refrain from offering food or water to any animal as it can have fatal results. 

    If the baby appears healthy, vocalizing, breathing normally, and has no evidence of trauma, please attempt to renest it (either in the original nest or create a faux nest). When creating a faux nest, please only use natural materials such as grass, small twigs, moss, and leaf litter to line the nest. Utilize zip ties or bungee cords to wedge a fruit carton or tupperware with drainage holes into the tree above where the baby was found and ensure the tree has leaf cover to shade the nest from the sun. Monitor (from afar) for a couple hours to see if mom or dad return. If they do not, please bring the box and baby inside for safety and contact CROW or your nearest wildlife rehabber.

     If you see blood, broken bones, or the bird has been attacked by another animal (cat/dog/predator), it needs to be brought to a wildlife rehabber ASAP!

    For Holding/Transport: Place the babies on a towel or tissue in a well-ventilated, covered box. You can give them a “nest” if you’d like – a small bowl or container with tissues piled inside it. Babies need supplementary heat. It is ideal to use a heating pad: set it to LOW, wrap it in a towel, and place the box on top of it. If driving, you can utilize a seat warmer, but please avoid air conditioning blowing on the box.

Mammals

  • Baby Mammals

    Not all baby animals are in need of rescue!! Regardless of the situation, please refrain from offering food or water to any animal as it can have fatal results. 

    If the baby appears healthy, vocalizing, breathing normally, and has no evidence of trauma, please attempt to reunite it (see below for details).

     If you see blood, broken bones, or the baby has been attacked by another animal (cat/dog/predator), it needs to be brought to a wildlife rehabber ASAP!

    For Holding/Transport: Place the babies on a towel or tissue in a well-ventilated, covered box.  Babies need supplementary heat. It is ideal to use a heating pad: set it to LOW, wrap it in a towel, and place the box on top of it. If driving, you can utilize a seat warmer, but please avoid air conditioning blowing on the box.

    REUNITING INSTRUCTIONS: Find an appropriately sized cardboard box for the species that can be fully closed. Ensure there are small breathing and ventilation holes. Cut a hole out of one side just large enough for mom to stick her hand or head in to grab her baby and pull it back out. Place the box in a safe area WHERE THE BABY WAS FOUND and monitor (from a distance) for a few hours to see if mom returns. IF SHE DOES NOT RETURN, please bring the box and baby inside for safety and call CROW or your nearest wildlife rehabber!

  • Adult Mammals

    Keep in an escape-proof box (we prefer plastic crates or tupperware with drilled ventilation holes. If possible, place a towel or blanket in the box to keep them comfortable. Please DO NOT provide food or water to the animal under any circumstances.

Dropoff Locations

Close
Get Directions
'; ';
Options hide options
Print Reset
Fetching directions...