Have you found a distressed, injured, or orphaned wild mammal within NYC?
SPRING UPDATE: Most area rehabbers are at or near capacity for baby squirrels. Please scroll down for instructions on how to reunite a baby with its mother before contacting us. A baby's best chance for survival is always with its mother.
Call us: 646 481 6259 Leave a message or text us (text preferred). Please include a photo of the animal. A rehabber will respond ASAP.
Email us: email@example.com
To find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area of NY, check the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Rehabilitator list.
For bats, raccoons, or skunks (rabies vector species), or any other large wildlife such as deer, coyotes, or marine animals, call 311 and ask for Urban Park Rangers.
If you have found a baby squirrel (our most common call):
Whenever possible, it is best to reunite a baby squirrel with its mother; raising babies in captivity should always be a last resort, and in most cases a squirrel mother will be desperate to find her lost baby. To determine if a reunite is possible, first check:
- Is the baby injured?
- Is the baby bleeding?
- Is it cold to the touch? (Baby squirrels should feel warm.)
- Is there a dead parent nearby?
- Are there flies or maggots on the baby or in any of its orifices?
If yes to any of these, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.
If no, try to reunite the baby with its mother:
- If you have found a single baby check the area for any siblings.
- Place the baby in a small (8-12in deep) box surrounded by soft material (fleece or similar).
- Place instant hand warmers or a tightly sealed hot water bottle in the box with the baby for warmth (unless it is very hot outside).
- Place the box near where the baby was found, preferably mounted as high as possible off the ground (wire or string can be used to affix the box to a tree).
- Leave the area and observe from a distance- a mother squirrel won't return if people are nearby. The mother squirrel should return to retrieve her baby within two hours. If the nest was destroyed, the mother may build a new one before returning for her babies.
- You can also play the below baby squirrel calls, which will help the mother find the baby if it's not calling on its own. There are many more of these you can find on youtube as well.
If the mother squirrel does not return, retrieve the baby, keep it in a warm place, and contact a wildlife rehabilitator immediately. Do not try to feed or give water to the baby squirrel. Feeding a baby squirrel without the proper supplies and training can be fatal to the baby.
For help with distressed mammals and baby animal reunites you may contact Urban Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitation directly via the above methods; please include a phone number where you can be reached. Please understand, our capacity is currently very limited, especially during spring and autumn baby squirrel season. We apologize if we cannot accept new animals for rehabilitation at the time you call; we hope to one day have the resources to accept every animal who needs us.
Flow chart instructions to save and share below:
Baby bird and mammal chart from "Healers of the Wild: Rehabilitating Injured and Orphaned Wildlife" by Shannon K. Jacobs / Johnson Books. Rabbit chart courtesy of the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Opossum chart courtesy of Flint Creek Wildlife.
UUWR is a small non-profit organization dedicated to making the world a better place for humans and wildlife alike. We work with our community to spread awareness of the incredible wildlife population within New York City, and we strive to facilitate healthy relationships between New Yorkers and the fascinating creatures that are increasingly a part of urban life. With enough help from supporters like you we can one day reach our goal of opening NYC's first mammal-focused wildlife rehabilitation center. Please check out our "Get Involved" link above to see how you can help!