About orphaned wildlife
The most important thing to do if you find an infant wild animal is to make certain it is truly an orphan. Very often, well-meaning rescuers pick up and walk away with healthy infants while the parent animal watches.
The most common animals to be unnecessarily rescued are fledgling birds. They often spend up to several days on the ground while learning to fly and are being fed by parents nearby.
Whole nests can be placed back into trees. If nests have been destroyed, pre-fledgling birds can be put in a hanging basket (with drain holes) such as a margarine container and hung on a nearby tree to allow the parents to continue to feed and care for the youngster. It is not true that the parent will abandon the young bird if touched by humans - most birds do not have a good sense of smell!
Young mammals may appear lost and alone while they explore or wait for parents to return from foraging for food nearby. Remember, mammals such as deer and cottontail rabbits are only fed 2-3 times per day. Their parents leave them on their own for the rest of the day. This is natural and normal.
Seals will also be found alone on beaches and may not be orphaned. Monitor the situation closely and call Wild ARC to describe the seal's condition and length of time observed on the beach.
If a young animal is truly orphaned (parent is killed or missing after careful observation) or injured, it needs prompt attention! Contact Wild ARC at 250-478-WILD (9453) or your local wildlife rehabilitation facility as soon as possible.