Lakeside Nature Center
Contact Lakeside Nature Center at (816) 513-8960 for help and information on how to handle the animal. If the voice mail answers, leave a message. If you don't receive a call back, bring the animal to Lakeside Nature Center by 4:00 p.m. (if it is truly in need of help), or after 9:00 am the following day.
should you help a baby bird?
TO RESCUE BABY BIRDS:
should you help a baby mammal?
should a baby stay with its mother?
Cottontail Rabbits: If the rabbit is fully furred and about the size of a tennis ball, it should be left alone. It can be moved to a brushy area out of harm’s way if there is no protection. If smaller, return to its nest (use gloves to prevent human smell OR touch all babies so they smell the same) . Mother bunnies only come to the nest twice a day, so it is rare she will be seen. Place two strings or sticks over the nest and wait 24 hours to see if they have been disturbed. If you’re convinced the Mother is not returning to the nest or you have seen a dead adult nearby, bring the rabbit to Lakeside or call first for advice at 816-513-8960.
Virginia Opossum: All baby opossums less than 6 inches long (not including the tail) should be considered “orphaned”. Keep the animal warm, call Lakeside Nature Center for advice or bring to Lakeside as soon as possible .
Gray / Red Fox Squirrels: If the baby is out of its nest, construct a new nest in a basket or box and hang as far up the tree trunk as possible where you see the nest. Often the babies fall out of nests, but Mom will take them back if she can find them even if you have touched them! If the tree or tree’s nest is destroyed, construct a make-shift nest off the ground but near the original tree/nest site. This will provide her the opportunity to find the baby.( Keep out of direct sunlight.) Often Mother squirrels have several nests, so she’ll move the young ones if needed. From a distance and completely out of sight, watch for the Mother to return for about 4-6 hours. After that length of time bring to Lakeside Nature Center.
does a baby mammal need your help?
To help the baby, find a container with air holes or a cardboard box, and place a soft cloth in the bottom. Cover the baby with a light sheet or towel and gently pick the animal up and place it in the container. Keep the baby warm by placing the box half on/half off a heating pad set on low. Do not give the baby any food or water. Leave the baby in a quiet, dark place until you can transport it to Lakeside Nature Center.
Always practice good hygiene when handling animals or nests. You should wear gloves or use a towel as a barrier to protect from bites, scratches, disease and parasites. After handling the animal, clean everything, including towels, clothing, containers, gloves and hands to prevent spread of disease.
Remember, you should not keep a wild animal, even a baby, at your home any longer than necessary. In Missouri, it is against the law to keep a wild animal without a permit. If you find a baby that needs help, licensed rehabilitators at Lakeside Nature Center can begin caring for the animal as soon as you can get it there, which will increase the likelihood that it will survive.