Wildlife Help And Advice
Help Keep Wildlife Wild with These Tips
Staff at the Florida Wildlife Hospital is available seven days a week, 9 AM to 4:30 PM, to help provide assistance with wildlife issues. Call (321) 254-8843 to reach the Hospital. Please leave a message if no one answers, as we are often busy assisting patients. Calls will be returned usually within 30 min – 1 hour during regular office hours.
If you find a sick or injured wild animal or a baby animal in need of intervention, please contact the Florida Wildlife Hospital as soon as possible. FWH also has a number of online resources (click here) to help the public with wildlife health issues, including how to safely assist injured wild animals, how to tell if a young animal is truly in need of help, and a variety of other information on wildlife issues and living with wildlife.
What do I do if I find an injured or sick animal?
Wild animals can be very dangerous. If you are uncomfortable handling the injured animal, please call Florida Wildlife Hospital for advice. We may send a trained volunteer if one is available, or you may contact your local Animal Services Department. Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement can be reached at 633-2024 ext. 1.
DO NOT HANDLE raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats, otters, bobcats, or unknown dogs and cats. These animals are considered to be high-risk RABIES carriers. Being scratched or bitten by one of these animals may require an expensive series of injections for you, and/or euthanasia and testing for the animal. For more visit: Rabies Species Information
After hours assitance. Please leave the animal in it’s original box if possible and place in one of the drop off boxes. These boxes get checked regularly. Completing the available paperwork helps staff with a diagnosis and a plan for the potential release. For security reasons, staff will not come out if someone is in the parking lot so please do not wait.
Healthy, Young Wildlife
Many young wild animals are not in need of “help” from humans at all; they are young animals still receiving care from their parents, or young animals that are ready to live and thrive, on their own. Florida Wildlife Hospital & Sanctuary encourages those who care about wildlife to ask questions first about the most appropriate course of action. Learn more here about how to assess if a young wild animal is truly in need of help.
(If you find a baby squirrel that has fallen out of its nest and does NOT appear to be injured, you can either find the nest and put it back or leave the baby at the base of the tree. Unlike birds, squirrels and other mammals can pick up and carry their babies back to the nest. Keep away from the area to allow the mother to come down. She will not come down if there are pets and people around. For re-nesting information, please see: Re-Nest is Best! or our Baby Mammal page. If the baby appears sick or injured or has flies or ants nearby, contact FWH immediately.)
Why Can’t I Raise Orphan Wildlife Myself?
Mammals are regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Migratory birds are regulated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. There are many laws that protect these animals.
Professional wildlife rehabilitators have special permits which allow qualified individuals to temporarily possess orphaned and injured wildlife for treatment. Taking care of wildlife is a huge responsibility, with each species requiring specialized handling, medications, diet and caging. Feeding the wrong diet to an animal can be fatal. Many websites contain incorrect information about animal diets and you can do irreversible harm by following their recommendations. If you are interested in wildlife rehabilitation, visit the volunteer page or contact FWH to learn more about volunteer opportunities.