Nature Canada
Arctic Hare resting in the tundra

Do You Know What to Do If You Find An Injured Animal?

Image of Aniko Pollak

Aniko Pollak, Guest Blogger

This blog was written by guest blogger Aniko Pollak. 

The air is getting colder and making you want to get cozy by the fire, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting some exercise and enjoying the outdoors! When you are outside, it is always fun to spot local wildlife in your area.  Let’s say you do encounter an animal, but the animal doesn’t seem to be behaving quite like you think it should.  That animal could be sick or injured, but how can you tell?

Here are some tips to identify if an animal is sick or injured:

  • Look for signs of injury such as limps, blood, or wounds.
  • Sleepiness, limited movement, or unresponsiveness when you approach the animal.
  • Other signs are dizziness, disorientation, or stumbling when it moves.Image of ducklings
  • If it’s a baby, it would be crying, covered in bugs, or cold. Monitor the baby to make sure the mother didn’t leave temporarily.

Once you identified that it could be injured the best thing to do is keep the animal in its natural habitat, keep your distance.

Call an authorized wildlife rehabilitator or your local Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry district office right away!

Please do not:

  • Handle the animal or try to treat the animal as it can create stress and shock;
  • Offer food or water as animals have a unique diet; or
  • Try and keep the animal.

Wildlife rehabilitators commit their time to temporarily take care of wildlife and even save their lives! They will properly guide you in helping and capturing the animal if necessary. If you can’t get a hold of the Wildlife rehabilitators, keep trying and leave them a message so they can contact you easily. Their websites also have some great tips on what to do and what not to do.

Nature Canada has a great and easily guided resource of contacts for each province in Canada to help guide you in the right direction for wildlife rehabilitators in your area. Please use and keep this information handy!

Acknowledgments: BC SPCA, Ontario Wildlife Rescue

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Join our 50,000 nature lovers raising their voices for nature!


Want to Help?

Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.