Get Help

As much as we try, we can't give an orphaned animal as much time and care as their mother can. So whenever possible we would love to reunite the animal with their family. For specifics on what you can do for a certain species click on one of the links to the left for further information. Even if you don't see the animal on the list, Fresno Wildlife takes care of most native species.

If you're ever in doubt or need help, please call us


REMEMBER: It is ILLEGAL to keep any native bird or animal for more than 24 hours without proper federal and state permits.

If A Fawn Is Alone

deer1If you see a fawn by itself, in most cases, the best thing to do is LEAVE IT ALONE. Its mother is probably nearby watching. You may not be able to see her, but she can probably see, smell, and hear you from her hiding place. Usually, she will not come out of hiding - even to protect her fawn.

A doe may leave her fawn for several hours at a time. That DOES NOT mean the fawn has been abandoned. As little human intervention as possible is ALWAYS best for the mom and baby. In most cases, if you leave the fawn alone the mother will come back and get her baby. Once you are sure the fawn is in good condition, please do not repeatedly check on it. ONLY INTERVENE IF THE FAWN TRULY NEEDS OUR ASSISTANCE!

If you happen to remove a fawn that looks healthy, the best thing to do is take it back to exactly the spot where you found it. The mother will still come back to look for her fawn for several days. You can call us for assistance at any time.

A Fawn Needs Help

If you happen to encounter a fawn and you are absolutely positive it needs help, then and only then should the fawn be moved. Should you find yourself in that situation, call us for assistance right away.

True emergencies are:

  • Open bleeding wounds

  • Shallow, labored, or noisy breathing

  • Convulsions

  • Head trauma

  • Burns

  • The fawn is noticeably malnourished


Adult deer

Call the California Department of Fish and Game at 559-222-3761. Per our permit, we are prohibited from handling adult deer.

If A Predatory Bird Is On The Ground


If it is a young bird that still has some down (fluffy feathers) the mother will normally feed them even if they are on the ground. If the bird looks uninjured and is hard to catch, it might be learning to fly. This is called the fledgling stage.

Most birds will spend at least day or two on the ground as they learn to fly.

Note: If you have dog, cat, or coyote activity in your area the best thing to do would be to contact us for assistance.

If there is an adult on the ground, observe it for at least an hour or more to make sure it truly needs assistance. Normally if the bird is on the ground that long then it usually means they are injured or ill. Contact us immediately and we will assist you further.

Picking Up And Handling A Raptor
PLEASE CONTACT US BEFORE TRYING TO HANDLE A RAPTOR! WE CAN GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS OF SAFELY CATCHING THE BIRD! Use extreme caution when handling birds of prey. Be cautious of their talons and beak. Both are very powerful and sharp. The best way to pick them up is to drop the towel over their body and scoop them up. Be sure to avoid contact with their talons. Hold their wings to their body so they cannot flap them. Try to also grab their legs to prevent further injury. If you have thick leather gloves, such as welding gloves, they can be worn but do not depend on them for total hand protection.

Waiting For Pick up And Transporting
The best thing you can do is keep them in a cardboard box. A wire cage can damage their feathers, further prolonging their release.

If you make air holes in the box, make them above their eye level. Place the box in a quiet, dark, and warm area (STRESS IS THE #1 KILLER). A bathroom, closet, or laundry room is normally a good place. Then call us to come and pick it up. DO NOT OFFER THEM ANY TYPE OF FOOD OR WATER! THEY HAVE A VERY SPECIALIZED DIET AND IMPROPER FOOD CAN KILL THEM! PROVIDING WATER DISHES CAN RESULT IN DROWNING AND FORCING WATER INTO THEIR MOUTHS CAN CAUSE FLUID TO ENTER THEIR LUNGS!

NOTE: The young raptors may appear cute and cuddly, or even tame, but don't be fooled. They are wild creatures and will always exhibit some very wild qualities. Without proper training, you may get injured when handling these birds. Treating a bird as a pet can be extremely detrimental to them. They will lose their fear toward man and may have to be put down.

Juvenile/Baby Mammals

opossum baby

Many species of mammals will leave their babies in a safe hidden place while they go out searching for food. Baby mammals often appear to be orphaned when in fact they don't need any help. A baby animal's best chance of survival is to be raised by its natural parents.

If You Have Already Moved The Animal

First look at the babies and see if there are any obvious injuries or if they look malnourished. If so, call us. If there are no apparent injuries the best thing to do is to return them where you found them. Their mother will not abandon them just because you touched them. They may, however, abandon the babies if you remain too close or keep the mother from her babies for too long. So just check on them every 1- 2 hours for about 6-12 hours. If the parents still haven't come back call us for further assistance.


Most squirrels we get are from a downed tree. If their mother is not dead, put them in a box with low sides and no lid and place them near where they were found. The squirrels' mother will often make two or more nests so if one nest becomes unusable they can move their babies to another nest. Leave them alone so their mother has a chance to come back to get them.

If they are still there in 3-4 hours than call us for assistance.


Most opossums will become orphaned after their mother is killed or they fall off their mother's back. If the opossum is over 7 inches long, not including their tail (about the size of a 7 week old kitten) it does not need any help and it will be able to live on its own, unless it is injured.

If a baby opossum is found, look around to see if there are any others. Listen for a sneeze/squeaky sound that babies will make when they call for their mother.


Never handle a Bat with your bare hands!! If you touch a bat with your bare hands we have to euthanize it and have it tested for rabies. So please, for your own safety and the safety of the bat, do not touch them. Even though the chance of any given bat having rabies is very slim, if a bat is on the ground the odds are much greater.

The best way to catch a bat is to either pick it up with heavy gloves or by putting something on top of it and then slide a piece of cardboard under it. It can then be put into a secure container with air holes. Then call us.

If you think you have been bitten or scratched, wash your hands/wound with soap and water. Then immediately call animal control or the local health department and seek medical advice. If your pet was bitten or had the bat in their mouth, contact the local animal control and your veterinarian. (It's for you and your pet's safety).


If the raccoon looks fine, try to find its nest or den, and see if its home is intact. If the raccoon's home is intact and the animal is not injured, gently pick the raccoon up with a towel or gloves and gently place the animal back in their home. Raccoons should be left over night to see if their parents come back.

Other Mammals

If you are sure that the animal is truly orphaned or is injured, you can place them in a box and put them in a quiet, warm, and dark area. You may put a warm bottle of water in the box with a towel wrapped around it if you think they might be cold. Make sure they have room to get away from the warmth if they want to. Then call us for assistance.

Adult Mammals

If you find an injured adult animal and feel confident handling it, put it in a dog crate or a cage. If you don't have a crate put them in a secure cardboard box. Leave them outside somewhere quiet and warm (but not direct sun). Adult mammals are smart and can work their way out of boxes if they want to.

Handling Mammals

Make sure you wear thick, protective gloves when picking up any mammal. Put them in a crate or a box with some towels or old clothes for them to hide under. Then put them in a warm, quiet, and dark place. Thoroughly wash your hands after handling any wild animal for your own safety. Then call us as soon as possible.

If you are unsure about handling any animal call us.



P.O. Box 2605
Clovis, CA 93613