It can be hard to fight the urge to jump to the rescue of an injured wild animal, but in many cases what you might think is a kind action could end in disaster for that creature. Unlike domestic animals, like dogs and cats, wild animals have evolved to be wary of humans and will not always be so willing to accept help, not matter how dire the case. Additionally, people who aren’t properly trained to handle wildlife run the risk of accidentally injuring the animal. Not the mention, baby animals who are covered with “human scent” may be more likely to be abandoned by their parents.
Keeping all these things in mind is crucial to ensuring the safety of both you and the injured animal you find, so rather than springing into immediate action, you should ALWAYS contact a professional. Which is exactly what this kind man did when he encountered an injured baby owl.
He writes on Imgur, “Saw this little guy off the trail at Ravenna Park this afternoon while on a walk. At first I thought it was a cool ‘birding opportunity,’ and then remembered owls are nocturnal and usually only come out at night. He tried to turn around on the stick and I quickly realized his wing was not working properly; he was definitely injured.”
He immediately contacted local wildlife rescuers who directed him to the PAWS Animal Shelter hotline. PAWS staff instructed him to grab a box (if he was comfortable with this) and bring the owl into the shelter for treatment.
“After getting him into the box, he was understandably a bit tense but seemed relieved to be off that stick. Poor little guy didn’t put up much of a fight when I got near him (although he didn’t like the towel I used to get him in the box and snapped at it with his baby beak). Once closer to him I could see he had a couple flies on his little head and his eyes seemed dry, it reminded me of the “baggy eyes” we get when we don’t get enough sleep. Next stop, PAWS Animal Shelter!,” he writes.
Once he arrived at the shelter, one of the rescuers told him that they had received a call the day before about the baby owl but the caller was unwilling to bring the little guy in. Thanks to this man’s kind actions, the owl was able to get the help he needed.
If you ever come across an injured animal, be sure to call an experienced wildlife rehabilitator. Click here for a list of some that can help.
All image source: Imgur