I Found an Injured/Orphaned Wildlife. What Do I Do?
If you have found an orphaned or injured Florida native wild animal (no dogs or cats), please CALL OR TEXT Back To Nature Wildlife Refuge for assistance. We will help you determine if the animal(s) of concern is in need of a wildlife rehabber, direct you to a facility that can properly assist, and/or we will accept for care to properly raise, rehabilitate and release the animal(s) back into their natural environment. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RAISE OR CARE FOR ANY WILD ANIMAL. IT IS ILLEGAL WITHOUT A REHABILITATION PERMIT. Please take precautionary measures before taking action to ensure the safety of yourself and the injured wildlife.
Orphaned Flying Squirrel
Before taking action, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the animal truly injured and in need of human help? Ex: flighted birds or a healthy opossum stuck in a garbage can.
- Is the animal truly orphaned?
- Are the parents nearby?
If you are not sure, follow this link: www.BTNwildlife.org/Rescue
We do not have the resources at this time to pick up injured wildlife at their location. If you can safely transport the animal without putting your safety at risk, place it in a carrier or a box and bring it to us at our refuge located in Lake Nona (please call first). If you cannot, call your local animal services agency and give them the location of the injured animal. Be sure to ask about their policies on wildlife. Due to on-site construction starting February 2023, please call first if you have found a wild animal.
If you are an Orange County resident, Animal Services will pick up most injured or orphaned wild animals and deliver them to our facility EXCLUDING: raccoons, foxes, bats, otters and bobcats. They are required by law to euthanize rabies vector species. Flying squirrels and neonate wildlife (with no fur, or eyes closed, are subject to euthanasia as well). However, Back to Nature DOES NOT euthanize these animals upon arrival by private citizen. We will first evaluate the animal for signs of rabies and take necessary precautions. Infant/newborn wildlife are recommended to be transported to BTN via private citizen.
If you choose to call Orange County Animal Services (Orange County residents only), keep in mind that it may take a few hours or possibly longer before the animal(s) can be picked up and received by Back to Nature.
For ‘Truly Orphaned’ Newborn Wildlife
Newborn wildlife cannot go through the night without being fed or hydrated. Follow these tips to assist in their survival:
- Keep the animal in a quiet, dark, holding container with plenty of ventilation.
- Keep animals warm via a heating pad on LOW, under (not in direct contact) the box or carrier. A sock filled with dry rice and microwaved for 1 minute can serve as a temporary heating pad and will last about 2 hours (do place in direct contact).
- Offer little or no food. Water is ok for injured ADULT wild animals. For newborns, provide children’s unflavored Pedialyte via a dropper every 2 to 4 hours. Do not use a bottle due to the risk for aspiration pneumonia. Do not provide formula.
If you feel BTN can assist
Please call ahead (407) 568-5138 or text (954) 415-8948
You can also fill out our contact form
Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge:
10525 Clapp Simms Duda Rd.
Orlando, FL 32832
For after-hours wildlife emergencies please text:
Hours of Operation:
TUESDAY-SUNDAY 9 am-4 pm
CLOSED to the public: Mondays and Holidays.
For other concerns, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org