Orphaned Wildlife

Is that cute, helpless baby wild animal really abandoned?  In spring and summer, people frequently find baby wild animals and assume they are orphaned.  However, whether or not an animal is orphaned depends on the animal’s age and species, and how their natural behaviors are perceived.  For example, people sometimes assume that an animal found alone means the animal is orphaned.  They don’t realize that certain animals, like deer and rabbits, commonly leave their young alone to avoid attracting predators by their own scent.  This is normal.  Yet other animals, like raccoons, are closely supervised by their mother, so finding a young raccoon alone for hours DOES usually indicate that the animal is an orphan.  Make sure to read the tips below to determine if the animal you are seeing is truly an orphan, and what to do.
  • I've found a baby bird

Click for more information on:  birds, deer, ducks, foxes, opossums, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, squirrels.


Locating A Wildlife Rehabilitator*

*Please read the appropriate links above BEFORE calling a rehabilitator.  Some animals appear orphaned, but may not be.  Additionally, attempting to reunite an animal with his parents is ALWAYS the first priority when dealing with a potentially orphaned baby animal.

The following links will help you locate a rehabilitator near you.  Keep in mind that rehabilitators are volunteers and care for these animals at their own expense.  Very few rehabilitators have a pick-up service, so you may need to contain and transport the animal if it is safe to do so.  Please note that the following links are not maintained by The CWRA, and some listings may no longer be current.  Don’t get discouraged – you may need to make more than one phone call to locate a rehabilitator near you


Click here to Locate a Wildlife Rehabilitator in Connecticut

Occasionally, this link may be temporarily unavailable.  This is a technical problem beyond our control.  If the link does not work, please scroll down and use one of the national directories, which have listings for Connecticut, or the link for the CWRA provided under the state listings.  Thank you!

SCRAP THE TRAP! Please note that the live-trapping of “nuisance” wildlife often leads to wild animal babies being left behind to starve.  This is because spring and summer are when many wild animals attempt to use chimneys, attics, and outbuildings as sites in which to raise their young. It may seem like a kind solution to trap and relocate a wild animal, but a high mortality rate among relocated animals-- and orphans being left behind to starve -- are the all-too-frequent results. We strongly discourage the trapping of wildlife for these reasons.  For assistance with wildlife conflicts, click here  and you will find humane, effective, long-lasting solutions to common wildlife problems.


Wildlife International

State Agencies (State agencies oversee the licensing of rehabilitators and may be able to help you locate one in your area.  Responsiveness varies from state to state.)

State Rehabilitation Associations

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association


State Listings:

Arizona: AZ G&FD


Colorado:  Colorado Parks and Wildlife Listing

Connecticut:  CWRACT DEP

Indiana: IN DNR (scroll down to second set of boxes for rehabilitators, Nuisance Wildlife Professionals will not be able to help you)


Maryland:  MD DNR

Massachusetts:  Mass Wildlife

Michigan:  MI DNR

Minnesota:  MN DNR

North Carolina:

New Jersey:  NJ F&W

New York:  NYSWRC

Ohio: OWRA,


Texas:  Texas Parks and Wildlife, DFW Wildlife Coalition