You have found an injured or orphaned wild animal. What do you do next?



If you see a wild animal that you believe may be in danger, evaluate the situation before making any decisions. You should not interfere unless you are certain the animal is injured, sick, or in imminent danger.


Signs an Animal is in Need of Help

  • Broken wing, leg, etc.
  • Captured by a predator
  • Their parent(s) have been killed nearby
  • They are not being cared for by any animal of the same species


Take Action

If you decide it is absolutely necessary for you to intervene, be sure to take the proper steps to safely rehabilitate the animal(s). Your first response will have a strong impact on the wildlife’s survival rate.


How to Transport a Wild Animal

  • Prepare a cardboard box or small animal carrier with old towels or t-shirts for the animal to safely rest on.
  • Put on thick gloves and cover the animal with a towel or pillowcase and gently place into carrier.
  • Secure the carrier, as animals will fight to escape when startled.
  • Place the animal in a warm, quiet place and transport to destination as soon as possible.


Be sure to handle all animals with care, and wear gloves when handling. If you are bitten, be sure to contact your doctor immediately.


Bring the Animal to Safety

Once you secure the animal, contact a permitted Tennessee wildlife rehabilitator. A wildlife rehabilitator will require the animal be delivered to their facility, and will care for the animal. They will then release the animal back into the wild when applicable.