WILDLIFE 911: Safe Capture and Transport
Always make sure that an animal is actually in need before intervening; please refer back to the Wildlife 911 section for more details.
If a rescue is needed remember that safety should be a priority both for you and the animal. NEVER put your personal safety at risk to rescue an animal. Always approach wild animals with caution, no matter how lifeless and lethargic they appear. It is not uncommon for a weak animal to get a quick dose of adrenaline when it is afraid, leading to a sudden struggle.
Some gear that is important for an animal rescue might be:
Here are some guidelines for capture and transport:
Please call the WRSOS Wildlife Hotline if you have any further questions on safe capture and transport of various animals.
An animal that is in critical condition may show the following signs: open-mouthed breathing (continual gasping for air vs. mouth open in defensive response), closed eyes, extreme lethargy, little resistance or response to handling. These animals require the immediate attention of a veterinarian.
The immediate reaction that animals have to stress is the "fight or flight" syndrome. Capture myopathy, a disease complex associated with capture or handling of any wild animal, occurs when an animal cannot cool itself; the key feature of capture myopathy is hyperthermia (an increase in body temperature). Stress is the body's reaction to abnormal states (e.g. infection, extreme temperature, injury, fear) that disturb the normal physiological equilibrium. Capturing and restraining an injured or ill animal is extremely stressful, and the rehabilitator's primary goal is to reduce stress, by minimizing pain and distress, before it reaches this critical level. The only cure is prevention. Once capture myopathy starts, it cannot be stopped and the animal will die.