Injured Wildlife and How You Can Help

This is not the normal location where you'd expect to find an adult osprey. Photo by Ben Wurst.

This is not the normal location where you’d expect to find an adult osprey. Photo by Ben Wurst.

We are a compassionate species. We do not like to see injured animals and often try to do all that we can to help. In some situations it is easy, like flipping a horseshoe crab on the beach or helping a terrapin to cross the road. In others, it is much more complex. Like pictured above. What would you do when you found an injured adult osprey on the ground? Here we will give you some guidance on what to do when you find an injured animal. In many of those instances, it is often best to leave nature as you found it. You always need to keep that in mind, as many animals die of natural causes, BUT when an animal gets injured from our way of life, then we believe that we should intercede and help that animal.

If you do find an animal that appears to be injured you should first contact your local animal control department (if provided by your township) and then contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in the State of New Jersey. They can give you guidance on how to properly handle, contain and care for the animal before you transport it to them (or another facility). It is important to remember that not all animals who are alone are sick or injured and in many cases it is best to let nature takes its course, especially when the cause of the injury is not human related.

A common myth is that adult birds do not accept their young after being handled by a human. This is false.

The New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators has a wealth of information on what to do when you find a particular species of of wildlife. Please visit their website to guide you in the right direction.

For all other wildlife and environmental emergencies, you should report those to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection at 1-877-WARN-DEP, a 24 hour hotline. 

Here is a list of local rehabilitators to Long Beach Island and their specialties:

Birds (including songbirds, seabirds and raptors (hawks, eagles, owls)) –

Turtles –

Mammals (Rodents (chipmunks, squirrels, etc.), mink, skunk, rabbit, opossum, raccoon,
fox, coyote) –

Marine Mammals –

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