I’m worried my dog will injure or kill the baby bunnies in my yard. What can I do? Place a laundry basket upside down over the nest when your dog is out, remove for mother to attend to the babies overnight and early morning. Let your dog out on-leash or walk your dog elsewhere. Bunnies leave the nest within just a few weeks, so we appreciate your patience. The nest can be moved if it is going to somewhere safe (other side of a fence or barrier) if it is within 4-6 feet from the original nest and still accessible to the mother.
My pet got into a bunny nest causing injury, what do I do now? Bunnies are incredibly fragile and susceptible to stress. If the wound is minor, such as a small scrape or laceration without profuse bleeding, we recommend leaving it alone. You can check the nest the next couple days to monitor if that baby is still doing okay. For any severe injuries, please plan to bring only the injured bunny to us for assessment. You may also always send us photos with questions. To prevent future injuries, please see the above question/answer.
I found a baby bunny in my window well, what do I do? Wearing gloves or using a thin towel, gently grasp the entire body, supporting the back legs in your palms, and put them back in the nest. If you can’t find it, put it in a nearby safe area, under a bush, in a cardboard box on it’s side, etc., and watch for an adult bunny.
My pet killed an adult bunny and I just found the baby nest in our yard, what should I do? Lucky for us, wild rabbits are excellent adoptive mothers! If the mother is known to be deceased, please find a friend or neighbor who has a bunny nest in their yard and move the bunnies to that nest. The survival rate of baby bunnies in captivity is low. My success rate is around 20%, so it’s really best to keep them in the wild if possible. If nothing else can be done, this is the perfect time for rehabilitation!
I ran over a bunny nest with my lawnmower, what do I do? Assess for injuries. Please use gloves or a towel to pick up the bunnies carefully and look them over. If you see blood, determine if the wound is deep/major vs a small scrape/cut. For minor injuries, I advocate leaving the bunny in the nest. (See the bunny section for more information). There can also be crush injuries if a bunny was under the wheel of a mower. This bunny will likely look very lethargic and feel limp. If seriously injured, call us. If you are comfortable doing so, place the bunny back in the nest and check on it again in a few hours. If it’s gotten worse, call us. To prevent this next time, please do a quick sweep of your yard to check for bunny nests.
I trapped and relocated an adult raccoon, but now there are babies, what do I do? This is the perfect situation for rehabbers. Please know this happens all the time and I recognize that this was not done maliciously. My goal is to educate and prevent these situations. Please share your story or this website so it doesn’t happen to someone else.
I cut down my tree and exposed a raccoon nest, what do I do? Stop cutting! Raccoons often have backup nests and will move the babies if in jeopardy. Give her privacy for about 24 hours. Hopefully she will take the hint and relocate herself, the nest and babies. To prevent this in the future, check your trees before cutting them down, or cut trees down during winter, mid-summer or late fall, planning around baby season.
I’m seeing a raccoon out during the day in the Spring, is it sick? This description could be rabies or distemper virus. However, this could also be normal behavior for most wildlife in the Spring. More mouths to feed means parents are up later and later trying to provide food. If the animal appears unthrifty, disoriented, aggressive, or is walking in circles or falling over, please keep all humans and animals away from it and call us. Photos and videos are encouraged so we can assess immediately.
I checked a deceased o’possum pouch and found babies, what do I do? Please bring them to a rehabber. Depending on the size, please know humane euthanasia may be warranted, or they will be rehabilitated.
My dog caught an adult o’possum, how do I know if it’s dead or playing possum? This is an uncontrolled reflex that can last 1-4 hours. Watch for ear twitching to indicate still alive.
I found a baby bird without feathers, what do I do with it? Look for a nest and return it there. If not, look for a parent and see if they’re watching their baby. Try following them to look for a nest. Last resort, call a rehabber.
I found a fledgling (feathered) baby bird on the ground, what should I do? Look for the adult birds and/or a nest. If nearby, continue watching from afar to ensure the parents are feeding it and it is bright and alert. It may not fly for several days. If the parent’s give up on it, leave it behind, or it looks lethargic, please call.
One baby bird gets continually pushed out of the nest, what should I do? Please take the bird to a rehabber. It may be sick, or it may be a bird that isn’t one of theirs.
A bird has built a nest in an undesirable location (car, doorway, vent), can I move the nest? If at all possible, I try to encourage not moving nests, but sometimes birds pick silly spots. Birds can be picky about where their nest remains or should they choose to abandon it, so I always advise caution. Only move the nest within 5 feet of the original location. If there’s an option to hide under/in a bush or tree, please do so. If not, set the nest in a container with holes in the bottom of it for drainage, and use a cardboard box on it’s side for some shelter. It is critical that you monitor to ensure the parents are still coming back to the nest.
I see a baby deer alone, what should I do? It’s normal for does to leave their fawns alone most of the day. The fawn should be laying down snuggled up, and yes, they look sad. This is normal. If the fawn is up, wandering around slowly or crying loudly, this is the time to call a rehabber.
I saw an injured deer, what should I do?
In Iowa, it is illegal to rehabilitate deer per the Iowa DNR due to Chronic Wasting Disease. If you see an injured deer of any age, we would advocate calling the local police department or DNR to ask if they will shoot it.
Fox, Coyote, Skunk
Birds of Prey