WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

Learn more about safely transporting injured or orphanedwildlife here!

How do I get rid of squirrels in my attic?

 

Soak a few rags in ammonia and toss them in different directions in the attic.  Do this for 3 nights in a row.  If you have a light in the attic, leave that on as well.  Squirrels will be disturbed by the smell and the light and will move out.  They will also take any babies with them if it is a family of squirrels.  Once you think the squirrels are gone, remove the rags and sprinkle flour on the floor to see if there are any new tracks.  Once you're sure they have moved on, make sure to seal the hole where they got in or another animal will take up residency.

What do I do if I have found a baby squirrel?

 

Sometimes squirrel nests are unstable and babies have a tendency to fall out of the nest.  Leave the baby on the ground where you found it for 2-3 hours to give the mom a chance to come back down the tree for it.  Once a mama squirrel realizes a baby fell out, she will come down and get it.  If you have already touched it, that's okay, she will still take it back.  If you found a squirrel with no nest around or that a cat or dog brought to you, then you need to bring it to our Intake Center.

 

What do I do if I find an adult squirrel that has been hit by a car or is dragging its back legs?

 

Be very careful with adult squirrels.  You need to get the squirrel into a secure box so you can bring it to us.  Our best recommendation is to use gloves and a thick towel to get the squirrel into the box.  They have very sharp teeth and you do not want to get bitten.  It is very rare for a squirrel to carry rabies, but you still do not want to put yourself at risk.  We will treat the squirrel when it is brought into our Intake Center.

What do I do if I find an injured bird?

 

Put the bird into a box and bring it to our Intake Center.  If the bird is still able to hop around, we recommend you try to corner it and throw a towel over it so you are able to scoop it into a box with the least amount of trauma to the bird.  We set many wings and legs, as well as treat al kinds of bites, eye injuries, and shock.

 

 

What do I do if I find a baby bird?

 

First determine if the bird is a nestling or a fledgling.  A nestling is a very young bird that has just hatched and has little to no feathers.  If it's a nestling, you're best option is to return the bird to the nest if possible.  It is okay that you touch the bird, the mom will continue to feed it once it's back in the nest.  If you are unable to reach the nest, you can create a make-shift nest such as a plastic bowl with a couple of holes at the bottom of the bowl or basket and nail it as high up you can reach of the tree; the mom will feed it from there.

 

If the bird is a fledgling, it will appear fluffy, with some feathers and a few naked patches.  These birds are meant to be on the ground and in low branches.  They spend about a week learning to fly and the parents will feed them and try to keep them hidden in a bush or up against your house.  Watch the bird to make sure it does not appear lethargic.  These birds do very well on the ground and it is the only way they will learn to survive on their own.  Cats, dogs, and kids always seem like major threats to these small, young birds, but resist the urge to pick it up and bring it into us unless it is injured or unable to stand.

 

 

What do I do if a bird has built a nest on my porch and I don't want there?

 

If you do not want birds nesting on your porch, you either need to put up a barrier or knock the nest down as the birds are trying to build it.  Once you have a nest with eggs it it illegal to harm the birds.  The good news is that it only takes about a month for the birds to go from eggs to fledged and flying around, so you will just have to be patient.

 

Why it there a bird dive-bombing me when I walk outside?

 

This means there is a nest nearby.  Mockingbirds and Bluejays are known for doing this and there is not much you can do about it.  We recommend walking out with an umbrella.  Again, it only takes about a month for the birds to fledge and fly away, but until then the adult birds will try to protect their nest by flying at you.

 

What do I do if birds keep flying into my window?

 

During nesting season, birds will see their reflection in the window and mistake it for another bird. Being territorial, they will attempt to fight with the bird they see. Window decals will help distract the bird, or you may need to hang a branch in front of the window for a few weeks.

How do I get rid of opossums in my attic?

 

Soak a few rags in ammonia and toss them in different directions in the attic. Do this for 3 nights in a row.  If you have a light in the attic, leave that on as well.  Opossums will be disturbed by the smell and the light and will move out.  Once you think the opossum is gone, remove the rags and sprinkle flour on the floor to see if there are any tracks left at night.  Once you are sure it has moved on, make sure to seal the hole where it got in before another animal takes up residency.

How do I get rid of opossums under my porch?

 

Fox Urine can be purchased at Academy in the hunting section.  Spray it around your porch in the evening a few nights in a row.  This is a predator smell for opossums and they will find a new home as soon as possible. Since opossums carry their babies in their pouch with them, you can do this any time of year.

 

What do I do if I trap an opossum?

 

We always discourage trapping because you are displacing an animal from its home and releasing it in an unfamiliar place.  There are always better alternatives to trapping, such as Fox Urine, mentioned above.  If you have already trapped the opossum, you can bring it to the Wildlife Rescue Intake Center.  We ask for a $50 donation which will cover the cost of care for the animal and the gas it costs to take it to an approved release site.  We keep your trap overnight, so we can release the animal with as little stress as possible.  You can usually pick up your trap the next day from the Intake Center.

What do I do if I find a baby opossum?

 

Female opossums are marsupials, so they carry their young around in their pouch.  They can have 13 babies at one time, so if one falls out, they do not come back for it. If you find a baby opossum, it needs to be brought into our Intake Center.

 

If you see a dead opossum on the side of the road with babies that are still alive, you can either bring us the adult and we can look for babies in the pouch or you can just bring us the babies. Opossums are able to survive on their own when they are about 10 inches long from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail.  Any opossum smaller than that needs to be brought into our Intake Center, so we can finish raising it.

How do I get rid of raccoons in my attic?

 

Soak a few rags in ammonia and toss them in different directions in the attic.  Do this for 3 nights in a row.  If you have a light in the attic, leave that on as well.  Raccoons will be disturbed by the smell and the light and will move out.  They will also take any babies with them if you have a family of them.  Once you think the raccoons are gone, remove the rags and sprinkle flour on the floor to see if there are any tracks left at night.  Once you're sure they have moved on, make sure to seal the hole where they got in or another animal will move in.

How do I get rid of raccoons under my porch?

 

Fox Urine can be purchased at Academy in the hunting section.  Spray it around your porch in the evening for a few nights in a row.  This is a predator smell for raccoons and they will find a new home as soon as possible.  They will also take any babies with them, so you can do this at any time of year.

What do I do if I trap a raccoon?

 

We always discourage trapping because you are displacing an animal from its home and releasing it in an unfamiliar place.  There are always better alternatives to trapping, such as Fox Urine, mentioned above.  If you have already trapped the opossum, you can bring it to the Wildlife Rescue Intake Center.  We ask for a $50 donation which will cover the cost of care for the animal and the gas it costs to take it to an approved release site. We keep your trap overnight, so we can release the animal with as little stress as possible.  You can usually pick up your trap the next day from the Intake Center.

What do I do if I find a baby deer?

 

Leave it alone until you have talked to a wildlife rehabilitator! Chances are, mom has just hidden it for the day and will return at dusk or evening to feed it. ***Do not attempt to feed it as it can cause serious problems for a wildlife rehabilitator as the digestive system is incredibly sensitive.

 

There are 6 main questions you should be prepared to answer:

 

  1. Lift the fawn's tail. Is it clean or dirty underneath?

  2. Pinch skin above the shoulders and observe how fast it flattens. Does the skin flatten quickly or very slowly? (Determines dehydration) 

  3. Is the inside of the fawn's mouth warm, neutral, or cold? 

  4. Are fire ants present on the fawn? If yes, how many? 

  5. What is the posture of the fawn (ex. lying down, limping, sleeping, on side?)

  6. Are there obvious injuries to the fawn? (ex. broken leg, injured eye, dog bite, etc.)

 

What happens if there is an injured adult deer near me?

Call the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden: 512-389-4848

Austin Wildlife Rescue - Intake Center

5401 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.

Austin, TX 78721

Monday - Sunday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

512-472-9453

Mailing Address

PO Box 302695

Austin, TX 78703

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