Helping Wildlife

Cases which you should call the RSPCA about include those involving trapped wildlife, or larger animals that may be difficult or dangerous to handle, such as Badgers, deer, and swans. You can find further advice on how and when to contact the RSPCA:

Check this first:

“Wild animals are an important part of the RSPCA’s work. As well as working to prevent cruelty to animals, we help wildlife that is injured, sick, or orphaned. Our national call centre receives around 600 calls each day, many of which are about wild animals who are suffering; in 2022, the RSPCA recorded 81,400 incidents involving wild animals”.

......if you find a wild animal in need, and it’s not a case that requires the RSPCA’s specialist skills, here’s what to do:

1. Firstly, make sure the animal actually needs help.
In 2022, the RSPCA’s emergency line answered 6,019 calls about baby birds, but many of these were healthy and still being looked after by their parents. If you ever find a fledgling (fully feathered baby bird) on the ground, if they’re not sick or injured they’re usually best left alone. They leave the nest before they can fly, and their parents are usually nearby and still caring for them. However, nestlings (baby birds without feathers) found out of the nest will need help. The RSPCA has more advice online about baby birds, and when they need help including species specific advice for:

2. Ring a local independent rescue for advice
If you’re still concerned about a wild animal, it’s often in their best interest to find help locally. This can be quicker and reduce the need for transportation which is stressful for wildlife. For small wildlife, the RSPCA website has advice on how to handle and transport them yourself.
You can search for local wildlife rescues here.

3. If you can’t find a suitable wildlife rescue, contact your local vet. All vets are members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and should provide emergency treatment to wildlife free of charge. Some vets may understandably limit access to their buildings due to avian flu, but should still be able to see birds outside. If after treating the animal the vet decides that rehabilitation is appropriate, it can be transported to a local wildlife rescue.
You can search for a local vet here.

Page updated Fri 26-Apr-2024