So You Found An Animal.....
C0hutta Animal Clinic holds a wildlife rehabilitation permit, allowing us to legally treat injured Birds of Prey (and other wildlife species) in the North Georgia mountains. If you have an injured wild animal who needs emergency care, please bring it into the clinic and we will do what we can to stabilize the patient so that it can be transferred and cared for by a certified wildlife rehabber.
Last year alone, we attended to 50+ different animals on an emergency basis from this region of the country. Animals included: owls, hawks, hummingbirds, songbirds, opossums, squirrels, deer, and a variety of other injured or orphaned animals. We receive no funding for our work with wildlife. We depend on donations from animal lovers like you to help us "aid and assist" with our injured wild neighbors.
All baby animals are not orphans! Their parents might be looking for them.
Many NON-INJURED juvenile and baby wild animals brought to Cohutta Animal Clinic should not have been taken from the wild in the first place. They have mistakenly been “kidnapped” from their parents by well meaning Good Samaritans who think just because they can catch a baby wild animal that it needs human help. The parents are often nearby and ready to take care of their young if we simply “put them back” and leave them alone. Remember to keep your personal pets away from wildlife.
Is the animal injured?
Use extreme caution when handling injured wildlife. They can be aggressive and it is recommended to wear leather gloves if the animal needs to be handled. Place the animal in a well ventilated cardboard box with a towel at the bottom. Keep the box in a dark, quiet place until you can get it to a rehabilitator.
Due to possible rabies exposure, DO NOT approach or handle any raccoons, bats, foxes or skunks.
Is the animal just a baby?
If you have to chase the baby animal down to catch it, it is most likely old enough and healthy enough to be on its own.
Although we have the capabilities of raising infant wildlife, there are things their mothers can teach them that we can't. That is why we try to keep them together whenever possible.
It is a MYTH that an animal's mother will not accept the baby animal once a human has touched it (yes, including birds).
NEVER try to force feed an animal, as this could cause the animal to aspirate and can be fatal.
Thank you for helping care for our local wildlife. And for you safety, please remember: DO NOT approach or handle any raccoons, bats, foxes or skunks due to possible rabies exposure!
If the baby is not fully feathered and is not injured, try placing it back in the nest if possible or put them back in the vicinity of where they were found and the parents will find them and continue caring for them. If they are not yet fledged and the nest is nearby, make a new nest nearby.If the nest looks too high or has been destroyed you can hang a grass-lined basket or a plastic container (with holes poked in the bottom for drainage in case of rain). It is always best to get the new nest as close to the old one as possible. Watch from a distance for up to 2 hours and if the mother does not return, contact a rehabber. It is a common misconception that if you touch a young bird the parent will not come back. Birds generally have a very poor sense of smell. It is natural and normal for birds to jump out of the nest (fledge) and then be followed and fed by their parents for about 2-3 weeks. During this time the young birds are not fully lighted and can only do short flights low to the ground. This is when they are being taught by their parents how to live, avoid predators, and find food.
If the baby is fully-feathered, has tail feathers and is hopping on the ground, it is a fledgling. This is a normal learning stage and the mother is nearby feeding it. You may place the bird back in the nest if it is within reach, but chances are it will hop right back out. This is a very necessary stage at which the young bird learns to fly, find food and to watch out for predators. The bird's mother can teach them these things much better than we can, so please leave the birds be. Fledglings will be flying within a couple of days, so if you have cats, perhaps they could stay inside for a short time.
If you find a fawn and it does not seem to be injured it is most likely not orphaned. The best thing to do is leave it be and allow mom to come back to care for it. If you are unsure if the fawn needs to be rescued, please do not remove the fawn until you have contacted a rehabilitator.
Remember to keep your personal pets away from wildlife.
To Find a Wildlife Rehabillitator in your area please visit the Georgia Wildlife Rehabillitator List on line.
Cohutta Animal Clinic
83 Dunbarton Farm Road
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
706-946-7387 M-F 9AM-5PM