FINDING A CASUALTY
ONLY attempt to capture a sick or injured animal if you can do so safely, do not put yourself at risk.
If you can capture the animal:
- keep it in a quiet place
- keep it in the dark
- keep it warm
- keep it confined
- give it access to water, if practical
If you CAN’T capture an injured or sick creature:
- take a note of its exact location
- if possible, leave someone there to watch over it while you call us and get help
These guidelines are intended for emergency care of casualties until they can be taken to a specialist rehabilitation centre. It is vitally important to remember that you are dealing with a wild creature and that handling will cause stress, leading to possible death, therefore keep handling to a minimum and keep children and pets well away.
Please do not give any mammals or birds cow's milk, as this is not a suitable food and can make them very ill. Here are a few suggestions for a diet which can be used in an emergency.
Most birds will eat wildbird seed or mashed cat food (not fish), raw mince, bread or biscuit crumbs, scrambled or hard boiled egg, but always ensure water is available
Fledglings will take a moist paste of cat food and hard boiled egg mashed with water
Birds of prey will need chicks or mice, so are best left if these are not available. If really necessary, raw mince will suffice
Ducks, geese and swans can have bread in a large bowl of water
Rabbits and hares will eat grass, dandelion, cow parsley, pet rabbit food, never give lettuce
Give hedgehogs cat or dog food (not fish)
Squirrels can have a few peanuts (unsalted) or domestic rabbit or hamster food
Mice will eat more or less anything and cereals, biscuits or bread are usually readily available
USEFUL ITEMS TO HAVE TO HAND
- Always keep a small box and towel in the boot of your car, you never know when you will come across a casualty.
- A covered plastic or cardboard box with newspaper and towelling to contain a casualty at home.
- An empty plastic lemonade bottle filled with warm water and put into a thick sock or wrapped in towelling makes a good hot water bottle.
- An icecream or margarine container with crumpled kitchen paper makes a suitable nest for fledglings and a feather duster becomes a foster mum.
A soft cuddly toy will provide some comfort to an orphan.
A lone duckling or chick will think its got company if you give it a mirror.
A small paintbrush or a pair of blunt tweezers are ideal for feeding fledgling birds.
Note – We do not advise the general public to handle large mammals such as deer, foxes and badgers as they are capable of causing serious injury. On finding one of the above injured, we would suggest making a detailed note of the location or better still leave someone with the creature until you can summon specialist assistance