Injured Mammals Info Line: (502) 238-5472
The Louisville zoo no longer has a wildlife rehab program. If you find an orphaned or injured wild mammal, please contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 595-4039 for a list of wildlife rehabilitators.
If you find a nest of baby bunnies, do not assume that they have been abandoned. Mom will only come around at night to feed them, you will not see her during the day. Keep dogs and cats away and give mom a chance to raise her family. It does not matter if you touch them, your smell is not important.
An older bunny that is hoping around and about the size of your fist should be left alone. Bunnies are on their own at a very early age. Again keeps dogs and cats away.
If you find a baby squirrel that can be returned to its nest, do so and watch from a distance. If they cannot be returned to nest you may try making an artificial nest and putting near the tree and watch to see mom will retrieve her babies. Orphaned animals that cannot be returned to mom should be put in a warm, quiet place in a covered, but well ventilated container with soft bedding. Wild mammals are easily stressed and should be disturbed as little as possible. Keep children and dogs and cats away. For warmth, you can place a heating pad set on low with a towel between the pad and box.
Do not attempt to feed cold babies, you must warm them first. For the first 24 hours offer the baby only rehydration fluid such as pedialyte or a homemade solution using 1 cup water, ½ teas. Sugar and a pinch of salt – warm and offer every few hours. Healthy babies can be fed fresh warmed Esbilac formula that you can purchase at a pet store. Feed every 3 – 4 hours. They will take between 1 – 6 cc depending on their age. Best feeding tool is a 1 cc syringe or eye dropper. Feed slowly so baby does not choke. If eyes are closed, infant’s genital area must be cleaned to stimulate elimination. Do this with a moist cotton ball or soft cloth.
If you find an inured adult mammal of any species do not attempt to pick it up – the animal will be scared and may be aggressive. If possible and it can be safely done you may try to scoop up animal gently with a large shovel and put in a sturdy box and contact F/W. Do not attempt to feed.
Remember these are general guidelines. It is important to place native animals in the hands of a licensed rehabilitator for assessment and care. Native mammals are protected by law and may not be kept with proper permits or as pets.