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The most commonly reported wildlife injury cases report sick, orphaned or injured wild animals and/or baby animals include wild animals straying out of the forests in search of food and getting lost, birds hitting windows repeatedly and hurting themselves, baby birds falling out of their nests and baby animals straying and settling down in dilapidated houses or sheds.

In case of injuries steps to follow

In case you come across an injured, sick or orphaned wild animal, the first step to be taken is to contact a registered Wildlife rehabilitation center closest to you and report the case. This is important because taking care of a wild animal without a license is considered an illegal act. Any wildlife rehabilitator working within Washington State is expected to be licensed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In case you find a wild animal within your domestic premises who needs to be rehabilitated, you need to do the needful to transport this animal to a licensed wild animal rehabilitator. In order to do this, identify a suitably sized box and line it with cloth or towel to make it safe and comfortable. You need to throw a towel over the wild animal before attempting to hold it and move it to the box to ensure that it doesn’t turn aggressive.

Loosen the towel, close the box and ensure that the box is transported to the nearest wildlife rehabilitation center. You need to ensure that you wear gloves while handling the animal and the box is secured at all times so that the animal doesn’t escape. Do not feed the animal and leave it alone in a warm, quiet and dark place with minimal distractions or disturbances.

In case of cases where a bird hits the window repeatedly and hurts itself, you can either choose to set the bird free once it has had adequate rest or take it to the closest wildlife rehabilitator. In either case, line a box with a towel or cloth, and place the bird in the box before securing the box. Do not cover the bird with the towel, and ensure that you do not leave food or water in the box. You should keep the bird in a warm, quiet and dark place for 1.5 to 2 hours without any disturbances and distractions introduced.

After 2 hours, you can attempt to take the box out and open the lid, allowing the bird to fly away. In case the bird flies away, be rest assured that it is safe. If the bird doesn’t fly away, the injury might be more critical and you will have to transport the bird to the nearest wildlife rehabilitator.

In case a baby bird falls from the nest, you need to ensure that the baby bird is placed back in the nest immediately to keep it safe from predators. If the baby bird has fallen out of a nest which is still intact in the tree, pick the baby bird up and place it back in the nest. In case the nest has fallen out of the tree but is still intact, you can attempt to place the nest back in the tree.

However, in case the nest has been destroyed, you will have to make a makeshift nest using a berry basket or Easter basket and place the remnants of the nest and babies in it. Once this is done, you should secure the new nest in the tree and inform rehabilitator about the situation and gain further guidance.

In case of conflict steps to follow

There are instances of wild animals straying out of the forest and settling down in dilapidated sheds, houses or even car porches or sheds. Many times, this happens either because of a warm and safe environment or easy access to food. If this is the case, you need to ensure that you do not take any aggressive steps and helps the animals move into their original homes using simple solutions.

In case you find wild animals settling down in porches, sheds, attics or garage, you can attempt to have light fixtures installed so that these spaces are no longer dark and cozy. You can also opt to have battery operated radio with loud noises installed so that the animals stay away. You can also place a household ammonia-soaked rag in these spaces so that the animals will stay away due to the pungent smell.

Another commonly reported problem is birds hitting windows, especially during their nesting season in spring. It has been identified that birds repeatedly hit the windows as they see the reflection in the windows to be intruders and are trying to drive them away. The best way to stop birds from doing this is to cover the reflective surfaces so that the fear of intruders is removed. You can choose to cover the window surfaces, hang streamers outside the window or place silhouettes on the window.

Wild animals barging through trash cans and coming too close to domestic premises can also become a difficult situation to handle. The first step to take in this situation is to scare the animal away so that it doesn’t continue to stray out from its natural environment and get injured. You should also avoid feeding wild animals as feeding them will set a precedent and they will continue to come back for food. Also, remove any food sources like trash cans, compost piles, BBQ grills or bird feeders which will be identified as food sources by wild animals.

In case you have adopted the above steps and still haven’t been able to scare the wild animals away, you will have to contact the nearest Wildlife Rehabilitation center and get guidance on how to handle this situation. You might also have to seek assistance from the rehabilitators on the subsequent steps to follow if it becomes difficult to transport these animals to the rehabilitation centers.

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