Wild animals

What to do when you find a wild animal ?

Although cities are often considered to be inhospitable environments for wildlife, a number of small mammals have successfully made their homes in our man-made habitats. Consult here the page of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs for more information.

The shelter is not able to take in or care for wild animals. Need help with a wildlife animal? Contact us at 1 833-445-2525 extension 0 or info@proanima.com

Has a groundhog made a home under your hot tub? Is a racoon greedily devouring your garbage? Or is a squirrel playing games in your chimney? Common situations like these can be very unpleasant.

However, these animals are also on their own territory, and we have to share our environment with them.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid some of the problems they can cause.

Do not relocate wildlife on your own.

“In any case, it is strongly advised not to relocate small urban mammals far from their place of capture. When an animal is moved from an environment where it found food and shelter, and these still remain accessible, it is only a matter of time for another animal to come and take the animal’s place. moved. The problem is therefore not solved at the base and it is only an eternal restart. All specialists agree that animals should not be relocated, even if they appear healthy. Indeed, each movement of wild animals is associated with the risk of introducing new diseases or new parasites into a region where the latter are absent, which can have significant adverse consequences for public health, agriculture or conservation of endangered species. – Site of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs

Contact us at 450-655-2525, except in the case of a bird of prey. In this case, contact SOS Poaching at 1-800-463-2191.

Fauna’s false orphans

Despite the very good intention of wanting to help these false orphans, the citizens will take actions that will reduce the animal’s chances of survival. You should know that babies of wild species are often left alone during the day, and only fed in the evening or at night. They are therefore not truly abandoned by their mother.

The website of Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs gives as an example the snowshoe hares that will separate their young from each other and hide them in different places in the environment, to prevent all the young in the litter from being devoured if a predator discovers them.

TO REMEMBER: “Intervening on the simple observation that a young animal is alone in nature often has the consequence of making it an orphan animal, when it was not one in reality! This hasty action could compromise the health or survival of the animal.” – the MFFP

We invite you to consult the MFFP website to find out when and how to intervene with wildlife: https://mffp.gouv.qc.ca/

White cat lying on the legs of someone who pets it.
a child and a dog lying on a bed looking at the camera

When an injured animal is discovered, it is necessary to communicate with SOS Poaching before any intervention, because some animals are notifiable. Whether or not the cash is reportable, we recommend that you do not take any risks for your safety and that of others.

Found an injured animal?

According to the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs of Quebec, when you find an injured, sick or dead animal you must follow these tips for your safety.

What to do in the presence of an injured or sick wild animal

In some cases, letting nature take its course may be the best option. Indeed, the death of wild animals is an integral part of healthy ecosystems and the survival of some animals depends on the death of other animals. Thus, a sick, injured or dead animal will serve as a meal for a predator who can use it to feed its own young and allow them to survive.

When near an injured or sick animal, the following safety instructions should be followed:

  • Keep pets away at all times to minimize animal stress and prevent the spread of disease;
  • Avoid staying close to the animal, as this could stress it further;
  • Never attempt to intervene with an animal that could bite or injure you, such as deer, herons or raccoons.

Make sure the wild animal is actually injured or sick

Injured or dead wild animals can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Therefore, it is important to avoid approaching or handling them. The following signs are most often noted in sick or injured animals:

  • obvious sore, bleeding or injury;
  • difficulty breathing or noisy breathing;
  • discharge from the eyes or nostrils, sticking eyelids;
  • difficulty moving around, getting up, or holding your head straight or up;
  • lethargy or marked depression;
  • soiled fur or feathers around the anus
  • areas of skin devoid of hair or feathers;
  • flightless birds with hanging wings.

Organizations to contact depending on the species:

  • All animals (except for birds): Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, at 1-844-523-6738.
  • Birds:
    • Union québécoise de réhabilitation des oiseaux de proie (UQROP) à Saint-Hyacinthe (514) 345-8521 #8427 ou (450) 773-8521 #8427
    • Le Nichoir au 450-458-2809
    • Clinique des oiseaux de proie au 450-773-8521, poste 8111

Found a baby squirrel?

Urban cohabitation with wild animals is often very difficult for them. You have surely already observed squirrel nests in unusual places such as on balconies or at the edge of a window. Mother squirrels must set up their nests to bring their young to safety, but forests are razed to make way for streets, leafy trees are cut down, and they are left with few options. Let us be patient and indulgent towards these mothers who manage as best they can while waiting for the trees to cover themselves with leaves in the spring and for them to be able to settle elsewhere more comfortably.

Baby squirrels are regularly carried from nest to nest by parents. It is therefore not unusual for a youngster to be dropped on the ground or lost in motion. If it is within easy reach of predators, it can be relocated to a nearby shrub or temporary nest. They must be observed from a distance so as not to deter parents from coming back for them or continuing to take care of them. The baby squirrel will only need assistance if it shows signs of general weakness or if the mother has not returned within 24 hours.

White cat lying on the legs of someone who pets it.
White cat lying on the legs of someone who pets it.

The steps to follow:


Watch the surroundings

Is the baby in a nest, but it fell to the ground? Does the baby cross the street, away from the trees? Is the baby alone? Check the surroundings as they rarely are. Note the location of the find and check if you see any nests nearby (in crevices, nests in branches and holes in trees, for example). Note the places.


Check if the baby is hurt

Is there blood? Does the baby appear to have been bitten? Are there fly eggs (small yellowish grains of rice stuck to the coat)? Is he dehydrated? If so, quickly contact Écureuil Land: http://m.me/ecureuillandqc


Warm the baby immediately

Very important and to be done quickly, even in summer. You can take a fleece blanket and put the baby against you while you find a suitable heat source. Then, use a cloth-wrapped hot water bottle or magic bag to help the baby maintain adequate body heat (they don’t self-regulate their temperature until about 8 weeks). Put it in a plastic box (avoid cardboard) with fleece blankets and the chosen heat source when you are at home.


Try to reunite him with his mother

Early morning or early evening are the ideal times to attempt a meeting. If the baby IS NOT injured, does not have a fly egg and seems healthy, it is imperative to attempt a return with the mother. This will always remain the best solution for them. A mom will take her baby back even if you touched it with your hands.


Should I feed the baby squirrel?

The short answer is NO. But the baby can be dehydrated, he will then need lukewarm Pedialyte, and this, only when the baby is warmed up and with a suitable syringe. NEVER GIVE COW’S MILK OR FOOD to a baby squirrel.
You will find the complete care procedure in the emergency care guide for baby squirrels, available here: http://bit.ly/ecureuilland


Give him a dark and quiet shelter

Put a plastic box in a quiet place, away from small children and pets. Do not disturb him more than necessary.

Read This Before Picking Up A Baby Squirrel That Seems Lonely

If you find a baby squirrel, it is not always necessary to pick it up and bring it to your home. When the good weather returns, some babies begin to venture out of their nest, sometimes a little far.

If the baby has its eyes closed, is hurt, or is climbing on top of you on its own, this indicates that it needs help and you need to act to help it quickly.

BUT… If he’s having fun, being mobile and playing, just watch him from a distance to make sure predators won’t attack him and to make sure the mother comes back for him. We avoid feeding them, especially with nuts, fruits or any form of milk (cow’s milk and infant milk are to be avoided, among others).

If the day is over and the sun is about to go down and the mother still hasn’t come back then, yes, take him home for the night. Give him warmth and hydration (per the instructions above).

But you must try to reunite him with his mother early the next morning. You take it to where you found it and wait a while, watching it from afar, to see if the mother comes back for it. In many cases, it comes back.

The mother will take her baby back even if you touched her. Try several times throughout the day, returning to the same place with the baby. If she doesn’t come back, the baby is probably alone. You can then contact Écureuil Land. But you must try the reunion with the mother first.


The creation of “false orphans” is not a winning solution, as much for the mother as for the babies as for us. Patience is required if you have found babies (healthy ones). Moms will usually move their young within days. Sometimes it’s within the hour, sometimes 3 days later. Also, it’s okay if you touched the babies with your hands. Moms recognize their babies’ cries.

Need help with a squirrel?

Would you like to become a foster family for baby squirrels? Contact the Écureuil Land organization.