An orphaned Grebe after the entire family was run over by a jet
ski. Proper handling during this stressful time can insure survival.


There are some simple, but important, things you can do after finding wildlife that is injured. Make sure that baby animals are really in trouble.

If you are not sure their parents are nearby, then call us for advice. Protect yourself when attempting capture. Cover the animals eyes with a blanket or towel before picking them up and, make sure they are in a secure container with ventilation when transporting them. Never put them near your face.

Then follow these five rules:

• Keep the animal warm, 80-90 degrees.

• Don't feed it or give it fluids

• Keep it in a secure, dark container or kennel.

• Stay quiet around it and don't constantly look at the bird.

• Get it to a rehabilitation hospital as quickly as possible.

• Never keep the animal or try to treat it yourself!

There are good reasons for following these basic rules. Most wildlife that is injured or sick enough to be caught is in serious trouble already. You can assume that without medical intervention the animal will die. It may be in shock, a life-threatening condition. The first avenue of treatment for shock is warmth and quiet. Animals in shock need to be stabilized by a professional wildlife rehabilitator or a vet.

Sick and injured animals might not look like they are in trouble. They instinctively hide their true condition for survival purposes, because the weak animal is the first preyed upon in the wild. It will do everything to convince you it is OK, mainly because it views you as a predator and thinks you are going to kill it. Wild animals can die from stress; constantly looking at it, holding it, or trying to "comfort" it only stresses it more.

Keeping a wild animal dark, quiet and alone gives it a sense of being hidden, making it feel safer. Darkness encourages young birds to sleep, slowing down their metabolism and saving precious calories.

Holding onto the animal and thinking you can treat it yourself may be a death sentence for it. It's also illegal in most cases to keep wild animals as they are protected by federal and state laws. Bring the animal to IBRRC as soon as possible, or call us, so we can refer you to an appropriate facility near you.

IBRRC Headquarters
San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center
4369 Cordelia Road
Suisun, CA 94585
Phone: 707/207-0380

Directions to Northern California center

IBRRC–Southern California
Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care and Education Center
3601 South Gaffey
San Pedro, CA 90731
Phone: 310-514-2573

Directions to Southern California center


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