ALL ANIMALS will avoid coming to retrieve their babies if humans are around. Please watch for signs of mom without being too close or animals seeing you.
WildCare does not accept deer (adults or fawns), and while we can offer advice, we do not remove nuisance wildlife.
Click on an image to go directly to the information on that mammal.
Bats found indoors are most likely cave-dwelling bats. Do not try to catch a flying bat. If one is in your house, close off the room, partially open a window, and in the evening it should fly out. If you can not let it go through an open window or door, at least wait until it lands. Using a thick piece of paper, slide the paper under the bat as if gently “scraping” it off the wall. Do this while covering the bat with a shoe box. When the bat is in the box, put the paper on top as a lid. Remove paper in the evening and watch bat fly out. If the bat does not fly out or has trouble flying, call a rehabilitator. For reddish colored bats found outside, it’s probably a tree dwelling bat. Using a stick, gently touch the bat’s feet and it should cling to it. Place bat on the highest limb you can safely reach with a ladder. If the bat panics when you touch its feet, call a licensed rehabilitator. Never pick up a bat or any wild animal with bare hands. Please contact a licensed rehabilitator.
Chipmunks are consistently in and out of the burrow. If there is no sign of mom, keep an eye on it for a couple of hours to see if mom comes around. She may come and then leave, but come back for the baby in a few hours. To reunite, leave the baby in the exact spot where found. The mother won’t know to go look anywhere else. Leave it in plain view and do not cover the animal with any material. Monitor the area from a good distance or inside if possible. If after several hours mom does not at least come to see the chipmunk then it may need rescuing. Please contact a licensed rehabilitator.
Mother and baby deer will rarely be seen together. If you should see a fawn lying down without its mother, leave it there until morning and if it has not moved, mom may not be returning and please do call a licensed rehabilitator. You may not see mom during he day, but she is probably watching you. Stay away from baby so mom will feel safe to return.
Fox and coyote kits (puppies) generally will not be seen alone outside of their den when young. As the kits get older they may explore outside their den. If you see one or more kits wondering around an area for more than a couple of hours and there is no sign of mom, they might be orphaned. From a distance or inside, watch the area and activity. If the kits do not go back to their den by dusk, please call a licensed rehabilitator for advice.
Opossums that are not injured and are over 7-8 inches long (excluding the tail) should be left alone. If they are less than 7-8 inches, please do not try to feed them as they do not have the ‘suckle” response and need to be tube fed a VERY select formula. Opossums are prone to Metabolic Bone Disease due to diets. This can be fatal. If you should find a mother that is dead or hit by a car, check her pouch as more than likely, her babies are alive in there. They will need your help in order to live. Please contact a licensed rehabilitator.
Mother rabbits are rarely seen with the babies. You will generally only see her at the nest at dusk and dawn, feeding times for the babies. If you believe they are orphaned, watch for signs of mom from a distance. Rabbit nests are typically discovered when mowing. Do not worry if you have mowed over a nest. Bunny nests can be repaired. Skewer sticks, thin string can be placed in a tic tac toe formation over the top of the den. Or you may simply use grass clippings to ensure the nest site is covered. This will help keep the babies safe from predators. While repairing the nest, if necessary, you should notice the nest popping up periodically. This is the babies jumping due to the activity around them. If the babies are not in the nest the following morning, the mother has moved them. If bunnies are over 5 inches long, eyes open, and can hop, they do NOT need rescuing. Please contact a licensed rehabilitator if you believe you have orphaned baby rabbits.
Raccoon cubs with eyes closed should be warm to the touch and in the natal den. If you find them anywhere else, they are in trouble. Warm them to bring them out of shock and call a rehabilitator immediately. They cannot thermal regulate at this age of 4 weeks or younger. Only feed them drops of warm water after they are warmed. If you find a young eyes-open cub without a mom, it is in trouble. They are not allowed out alone without mom and will only go exploring if starving, and she has not been able to come home. Any cub 8 lbs or less needs to be in care. If the eyes are open, it is best to use a leather garden glove to handle. They only have baby teeth, but they know how to use them. Put them into a pet taxi or container with sweatshirt bedding and a dish of water. Call a rehabber. Google Licensed Wild Animal Rehabilitators Indiana for the DNR-approved list.
Mothers often try to den in attics, sheds, chimneys, or under porches in the spring where they think their young will be safe. If you want her to move them, call for advice. Rehabbers can suggest mild harassment techniques that will encourage her to move them to another site in the neighborhood.
Babies do explore briefly at times away from its mother, yet it is more likely that the skunk has lost sight of the mother. Watch to see if the baby finds the den or if the mother retrieves him. You can put a plastic laundry basked upside down over the skunk to temporarily contain him while waiting for the mother to return. Approach the skunk slowly and talk softly – if the skunk gives a warning by stamping its front feet, then stand still or back off. You can approach again after the skunk calms down. As baby skunks get older, they sometimes come out to explore while the mother is away. Most of the time, however, they don’t appear without her – so if you repeatedly see the baby outside alone, it may be orphaned. If the skunk appears to be truly orphaned, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator near you.
Squirrels often have a secondary nest if one should fall out of a tree. The mom should come back to retrieve her babies when she feels it’s safe. If you know mom is around, leave the area so she will feel safe to come back to get her babies. It is best to observe from indoors. If you have not seen mom after several hours, put the baby in small box with an old t-shirt, try to get it off the ground. Continue to watch from indoors to see if mom comes back within a few hours. If not, this baby may need rescuing. Please contact a licensed rehabilitator.
Moms come and go. If the baby is wandering around crying for hours, it may need your help. If you do not know, place in a box close to where you found it. If the mother does not come back in 4-6 hours, it needs help. Please contact a licensed rehabilitator.