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San Diego Humane Society

Found Baby Wildlife

Never feed a wildlife baby, as this can often do more harm than good. If visibly injured or in danger from a predator or neighborhood cat or dog, keep the baby warm and bring it to Project Wildlife.

But don’t assume all babies are injured or in danger! Follow these tips based on what kind of animal you’ve found.


Visit our Wildlife Help Hub: Birds Self-Help Center for more information.


Watch and wait: 
The absence of a parent does not necessarily mean a wildlife baby has been abandoned.

To deter predators, some mammals (like deer and rabbits) only visit their young every 12 hours.

If you’ve found a nest, place an “X” of sticks over the entrance and check back later to see if the sticks were disturbed (meaning the parents returned to feed the babies).

Warmth and isolation: 
For safety, always wear gloves when rescuing a wild mammal.

If the baby is confirmed abandoned or orphaned, place inside a box in a quiet, dark place away from pets and children until you can bring to Project Wildlife for treatment.

Keep the baby warm by placing half of the box on a heating pad set on low.

Rescue notes about certain animals:

Baby Ducks: Do not allow to swim. Keep dry, because they can quickly get hypothermic (chilled) and die.

Baby Opossums: Give them something to hide under such as a T-shirt. 

Baby Skunks: Always wear latex or vinyl gloves when handling baby skunks. 

Coexist with Wildlife

From the coast to the mountains to the desert to urban neighborhoods, San Diegans share this beautiful landscape with more than 320 animal species. Their role in our ecosystem can't be understated. In this guide, you will find crucial information for coexisting with the diverse wildlife in the San Diego region. 

Coexist with Wildlife Guide


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