It's essential that a wild animal in need of assistance is helped but it's also very important that wild animals are not plucked from the wild unnecessarily. Finding the right balance can sometimes be difficult and that's where we hope to help. We have an extensive library of articles on our website which aim to cover some of the common reasons why a member of the public might think an animal needs help. You can view these articles at helpwidlife.co.uk/sick-or-injured-wildlifeThere are also some general principles you can use as well. Animals will ALWAYS need rescue help if they have


- a visible wound or growth

- fly eggs or live maggots on them

- been or arecaught in netting, a trap or snare, or tangled in fishing line/string etc

- been covered with oil or similar substance

- been in the mouth of a cat or dog

- been hit by a car


Animals in these common situations are unlikely to need rescue help


- a healthy looking fledgling (fully feathered) bird on the ground. More information here.

- adult waterfowl with airplane/angel wing

- baby deer or hares (leverets) without their mother

- a nest of fox cubs, baby hedgehogs or rodents without their mother

If you remain unsure or need bespoke advice there are details of how to contact our helpdesk and some telephone advice lines at helpwildlife.co.uk/help

If the animal does need help, the next step, if it's safe to do so, is to capture it. There's advice on that step here.

If it's a large or potentially dangerous animal such as a deer, fox, badger, swan or goose, proceed directly to our advice on finding a wildlife rescue.