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What to do if you find a baby wild animal?

Look Twice Before You Leap to the Rescue

The best thing you can do is contact a licensed rehabilitator. They are trained to take care of wildlife.

Do not bring animals to the Nature Center; staff are not trained or licensed to take care of abandoned or injured wildlife.

Maryland DNR Wildlife Rehabilitators List: 

Stranded marine mammal or sea turtle:  MD DNR Police-1-800-628-9944

If Alive National Aquarium Rescue Hotline- 410-567-3880

If Dead Stranding Cell Phone - 443-758-6607


Contact a rehabilitator before you try to rescue an animal. 

MD/DNR Wildlife Services Hotline: 410-260-8540


  • Blue Angel Wildlife Rehab, Lusby- Small Mammals and Birds only. 410-610-6903
  • Make Animals Great Again, Owings- Mammals excluding bats and deer, reptiles and amphibians. 443-771-5342
  • Smirnoff, Lusby- Mammals excluding bats and deer. 443-975-1282

St. Mary's 

  • Back to the Wild Rehab (Mary Martin), California- Only raccoons, foxes, skunks under certain circumstances. Work: 301-342-7643 Cell: 240-298-6324
  • All Kinds Vet, Callaway- Captive Exotic animals. 301-994-9919


  • Second Chance Wildlife Center (Hannah Wilson), Gaithersburg- bald eagles, birds, mammals including bats, reptiles, and amphibians- no skunks or raccoons. Open 10-4pm. 301-926-9453
  • Owl Moon Raptor Center (Suzanne Shoemaker), Boyds-Birds only under certain circumstances. 24hr calling line. 301-908-7249
  • Lee Prouty, Rockville- waterfowl only. 301-460-7468


Nuisance Wildlife Hotline: 1-877-620-8367


  • Daniel Baker, St. Leonard-mammals including bats, reptiles, and amphibians. 410-610-3311
  • M. Elder, Solomons-reptiles, birds, mammals  including bats. 443-532-5500
  • William King, Lusby- Mammals excluding bats. 410-610-5311

Prince George's 

  • Daniel Potter, Marlboro- Birds, mammals including bats, reptiles, and amphibians. 301-257-6330
  • David Wiest, Upper Marlboro- Birds mammals;including bats, reptiles, and amphibians

Anne Arundel 

  • William Gray, Deale-mammals; ecluding bats. 301-873-9794
  • Charles Miller, Annapolis-birds, mammals; including bats, reptiles, and amphibians. 410-266-5400

Baby Birds

Most baby birds do not need to be rescued.  Contact a rehabilitator before you try to rescue an animal.

What should you do with a bird out of the nest? Watch it from a distance for an hour to make sure the adult birds return to feed the chick. The parent birds are usually nearby ready to feed and protect their baby.

What if a bird builds a nest in an inconvenient place, like the barbecue grill?  The birds have built the nest in a place they consider safe, and they will abandon that nest if it is moved to a different site. Wait patiently until the birds have successfully fledged. Then you can seal up or move the grill to prevent a second nest from being built. Put up birdhouses close to the spot.

Baby Mammals

Mammal, like rabbits and squirrels, have more than one litter in a year and offspring are independent at a fairly young age. 

If its eyes are open and it is up and out and moving around, it can be on its own; remember, keep your pets, especially cats, indoors. 

If you do find a baby mammal with its eyes closed, do not rescue the babies until you are certain it is abandoned. Mammals often feed their young only a few times a day, so absence of an adult does not mean it is abandoned. Contact a rehabilitator before you try to rescue an animal.

Baby Turtles

As soon as turtles hatch they can make it on their own. They do not need our care in any way. You can release the hatchling in a stream or pond near where you found it.

MYTH: If you touch a young animal the mother will abandon it. 
FACT: Wild animal mothers will risk their own lives to save their babies and will not reject them based on human scent alone. 

Keep your cats indoors and watch dogs carefully to make sure they don't inadvertently harm wildlife.  

If you’re worried that a fox will eat an animal you don’t rescue, remember that fox babies need to eat too!   

Some Useful Links

Coyote Clearinghouse

How to tell if baby animals are orphaned, injured, or perfectly fine: Humane Society of the US


Last resort options if you can't find any other rehabBERS:

  • Frisky's Wildlife Center- Woodstock, MD- 8am-8pm only 410-481-8899 or  website:
  • Pheonix Wildlife Center- Baltimore Co. (Kathern Woods)Appointment Required to drop off animals 401-682-9736  website:
  • Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc - Newark, DE- 9am-5pm drop off times 302-737-9543 or leave message on x103 website:
  • Kim McLamb, Anne Arundel County/Eastern Shore- birds/wildlife 443-786-8992

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