I have found a young animal out of its nest.

If you have found a young animal that has fallen out of its nest
, try to reunite the baby with its parents following the instructions below. 

All young animals are better off with their parents, if possible. If reuniting is unsuccessful, then call our wildlife hospital 856-983-3329 ext.107, and bring the animal to us.  Place the animal in a box or pet carrier lined with a towel.  Do not attempt to give food or water. Animals can go 24 hours or more without food, even babies. If you cannot get to the refuge immediately, place the box on a heating pad set to low or fill a water bottle with warm water and place it in the box.


If the young rabbits are the size of a tennis ball (4-5 inches) or bigger and their ears are standing up, they are ready to be on their own. Baby rabbits grow up in about 4 weeks. They are still small when they are on their own, but they can survive.

Baby rabbits only need to come in if they are injured or abandoned. Mother rabbits are away from their nest most of the time. They only come back twice a day, in the morning and evening. Just because you don’t see the mother doesn’t mean she’s not coming back. Even if there was a disturbance, the mother will most likely come back. Place some string in a star-shaped pattern over the nest and wait 12-24 hours. If the string does not look disturbed after this time, the babies are abandoned and need to be brought in.

To keep dogs from disturbing a nest, either keep the dogs inside unless supervised or place a wheelbarrow or box upside down over the nest. Make sure the mother can still slide underneath to get to the nest.


If injured (any blood or cuts, bruises, broken limbs): bring it in.

If not injured: make sure the squirrel is warm and put the squirrel in a basket or container with holes in the bottom and hang in a tree nearby where the squirrel was found (as high as can be reached). Squirrels make multiple nests, so the mother will most likely take the squirrel to new nest. If the mother doesn’t come back after 5-6 hours: bring it in.


Fawns are often left alone by their mother for long periods of time. There is only reason to bring a fawn in if:

  • the fawn is injured
  • there is a dead doe near the fawn
  • the fawn is crying a lot
  • the fawn looks emaciated, weak, or disoriented

Unfortunately, we are not equipped to care for adult deer (deer without spots). If you find an injured adult deer, please call your local police department.


If injured (broken limbs, one wing sits differently than the other, blood or cuts): bring it in.

If not injured and not fully-feathered (nestling): put the bird in a basket or container with holes in the bottom and hang in tree nearby where the bird was found. Observe from a distance. If the parents are coming to the makeshift nest: the bird is fine. If no parents come within 3-4 hours: bring it in.

If not injured and fully-feathered (fledgling): place the bird in shrubs/ bushes nearby where it was found. The parents will still come back to check on the bird and feed it. The bird is learning to find food on its own and flying over the next 1-2 weeks.

Ducks and Geese

Ducklings and goslings are almost always with their mother. If babies are found wandering alone, they have probably been separated from the mother and should be brought in. If you can, observe them for a while first, to make sure the mother is not around.

If you have found an animal not listed above, please call our wildlife hospital 856-983-3329 ext. 107 for further instructions.

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Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge | 4 Sawmill Road | Medford, NJ 08055 | 856-983-3329
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