Wildlife Rehabilitation at the WNC Nature Center
HELP! I found a hurt or baby animal!
Found an injured or orphaned baby animal? The Nature Center can help you to find the best options for getting that animal back into the wild. Read the following to learn what to do and who to call.
Can I just take care of it?
In some cases, people are tempted to care for injured and orphaned wildlife themselves. As fun and cute as it may seem to raise a baby squirrel with the kids, it is against North Carolina law to hold wildlife for more than 24 hours without a state license!
In addition, while there is an abundance of information on the web about raising wildlife, much of it is inaccurate or contradictory, and even if you have the best intentions, caring for wildlife without the proper training can end up causing harm to the animal and may result in the animal dying or being nonreleasable. It is always in the best interest of the animal to bring it to a rehabilitator as soon as possible.
Who Can Help?
A list of wildlife rehabilitators in your county is available on the NC Wildlife Resources Commission website. We encourage those who have found injured and orphaned wildlife to contact rehabilitators directly.
Furthermore, if you are interested in learning how to become a wildlife rehabilitator, please check out our 4-day Wildlife Rehabilitation Workshop held every Spring and Fall at the Nature Center. Call the Friends of the Nature Center at 828-259-8092 for this season's dates, prices, and to register!
About Baby Animals…
As a member of the community, it is important to know when an animal may or may not need your help. In some cases removing an animal from its habitat may do more harm than good! This is especially true for infant animals. Please see the following links to know what to do if you find a baby mammal, bird, or reptile:
Limitations of Rehabilitation
There are many laws and regulations regarding wildlife rehabilitation that vary state by state. For this reason, there are certain animals that cannot be accepted for rehabilitation. These include:
- rabies vector species (foxes, coyotes, raccoons, bats, skunks)
- wild turkeys
- fawns without their spots
- feral pigs
- healthy adult animals of any kind
If you are having difficulty with one of these species or encounter one that needs assistance, please contact NC Wildlife Resources Commission at 1-800-662-7137.
For assistance with pets or domestic animals (including poultry and livestock), please contact your local animal shelter.