What do to when you find a wild animal

Observe first, Clay Humane says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It has happens all the time.

You are minding your own business, maybe in the back yard, maybe at a park or near the soccer fields, when you come across an injured animal. A baby bird on the ground, and injured deer, a turtle struggling to cross a road or any number of other wildlife animals that call northeast Florida home.

What do you do?

"The first thing you need to do is observe," Dr. Christian Broadhurst with Clay Humane said. "Sometimes mother deer will lead their fawns, sometime for most of the day in the tall grass while they go off to do what they need to do and if we've stolen their little baby, that's not a good thing."

However, if the animal is clearly in distress, there are some steps to take, according to Broadhurst.

"At Clay Humane, we do take a lot of wildlife, so give us a call," Broadhurst said. "I also don't want people helping wildlife to get hurt themselves. Anything with a mouth will bite. Raccoons can be carriers of rabies."

Broadhurst warns that not every baby bird that is found out of the nest is in danger.

"Remember, birds learn to fly from the ground, so they're probably fine," Broadhurst said. "Baby squirrels do not learn to live on the grounds, so if you find downed baby squirrels, little 'pinklings,' that's probably a problem."