Sick, injured or orphaned wild animals
If you find an injured, sick or orphaned wild animal, contact a wildlife rehabilitation centre that can provide specialized and immediate medical care. If you must handle the animal, wear protective clothing and equipment such as leather gloves to avoid bites or scratches and wash your hands well after handling the animal.
Consult our list of wildlife rehabilitation centres below. This list is not exhaustive.
Province-wide: Alberta Society for Injured Birds of Prey
Cochrane: Cochrane Ecological Institute – Cochrane Wildlife Reserve
Accept migratory/ song birds, as well as terrestrial wildlife ranging from small to large mammals, native amphibians, and avian wildlife.
Edmonton: Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton
Accept all species of birds and small mammals, excluding adult skunks (babies are accepted), bats, pigeons, larger mammals such as deer, moose, etc.
Lethbridge area: Coaldale Rehabilitation Centre
Specializing in Raptors, do not accept migratory/ song birds, or other types of animals. Can provide contact information. Provide environmental learning sessions from May 10 to September 10.
Red Deer: Medicine River Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Accept migratory/ songbirds, raptors, all wildlife from the area.
Province-wide: Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of British Columbia
Abbotsford: Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre Society
*Use phone number for emergencies*
Accept (specialize in) migratory/ song birds as well as small mammals (squirrels, possums, rabbits)
Courtenay: Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society
Accept migratory/ songbirds. Accept deer during the summer, other wildlife is accepted for transport.
Langley: Critter Care Wildlife Society
Rehabilitate native animals ranging from squirrels to black bear cubs. Do not accept birds.
Prince Rupert: Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Shelter
This location accepts migratory/song birds as well as all other types of wildlife.
Vancouver: Marine Mammal Rescue, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
Tel: 604-258-SEAL (7325)
Only marine mammals and sea turtles accepted at this location
Victoria: BC SPCA Wild Arc – Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre
Accepts migratory/ song birds, as well as mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Able to treat native and non-native species, with the exception of predatory species (bears, cougars, wolves).
This location accepts all species of birds including migratory/ song birds, as well as reptiles, and small to medium sized mammals (excluding deer, skunks, and raccoons).
Winnipeg: The Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre
This location receives approximately 1700 animals each year. The Centre is equipped to handle all avian species, including large birds of prey and herons, as well as most native Manitoba mammals.
Tel: (506) 857-8698
House wildlife and transfer to rehabilitation centre.
Tel: 902 893-0253
This location accepts all bird species including migratory/ song birds, as well as small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
Kitchener-Waterloo: Turtle Haven
Focus on native turtles. Possesses a list of wildlife custodians in the Waterloo Region that will accept migratory/ songbirds.
Ottawa: Wild Bird Care Centre
This location accepts all species of birds including raptors, waterfowl, and migratory/ song birds.
Toronto: Toronto Wildlife Centre
Utterson: A Wing And A Prayer, Muskoka Centre for Wild Birds
Accept all species of birds, as well as migratory/ songbirds. Can refer mammals and other wildlife to regional wildlife centres.
Accept all species, including migratory/ songbirds
Southwest region, Montérégie (Hudson) : Le Nichoir Bird Rehabilitation Centre
Accept birds, as well as migratory/ songbirds
Moose Jaw: Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre
This is not a rehabilitation centre, but an educational centre. They will accept burrowing owls for rehabilitation only.
Not sure if an animal is sick, injured or orphaned?
Sick or injured animals will often show these signs:
- Blood, wounds or swelling on the body
- Lethargy or coldness to the touch
- Body covered in fleas
- Unusual or uneven loss of fur or feathers
- Vocalizing and/or following humans around
- A fawn that is wandering around
- Contact with a domestic cat
- Difficult or raspy breathing or sneezing
- A dangling leg or wing
- Closed eyes
- Head tucked under wing
Just because a young animal is alone does not mean it is orphaned. It is normal for some species to leave their offspring temporarily alone, especially during the day. For example, deer and cottontail rabbits spend much of the day away from their well-camouflaged offspring to minimize the chance of predators finding them.
To determine if young wildlife is truly orphaned:
- Check the animal periodically for 24 to 48 hours to see if it is still around, but keep your distance.
- Keep cats and dogs away from the area where the young animal is; the adult will not return if it is noisy or if predators or people are close by.
Please keep in mind that juvenile wild animals do not make good pets because they become difficult to handle as they grow. Once used to humans, released animals are not likely to survive in the wild because they do not have the necessary skills to stay alive. They may also be attracted to people, which may lead to their premature death. Wild animals can also be attracted to properties that provide shelter and/or food, resulting in conflict and property damage.