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Injured or distressed animals and birds

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Posted on behalf of Chrispp:


The enquiries that I receive most are either “What should I do (in France) if I find a wild animal or bird that is injured or distressed?” or “I have found a *******, what do I do with it?” 


Other than an obvious injury the first thing to do is to make sure that the creature is really in difficulty. This is often easier with an animal, if it appears to be in trouble IT IS, one notable exception is with baby Roe Deer which are left unattended and hidden by their mother while she goes away to eat, so if you should find them anytime from May until August do not touch them and leave the direct vicinity as soon as possible.


Young birds are rarely abandoned by their parents who will continue to feed them on the ground, watch from a distance and check whether a parent is in attendance.

Young Owls often fall “of their perch” out of trees, the mother can do nothing about this except guard them from the tree. Carefully take the young and place them at a height of about 2 metres in a secure position in the tree, the mother will certainly watch you and may (although rarely) dive at you when you are doing this – stay cool!

Birds can often be temporally stunned by a collision with a window, a vehicle or any other solid object, even a tree – they will often recover quickly if kept safe.

If a bird has a damaged wing it can be carefully taped round both wings and the body to hold it firm but not too tight ONLY use masking or drafting tape which will not stick to the feathers.


Handling:  Animals, bats and birds of prey should always be handled wearing gloves or failing that by using a piece of fabric or clothing being careful to avoid being bitten or scratched, should you suffer a broken skin injury no matter how small visit your doctor within 24/36 hours to get the required injections, rabies being the most important, but again - stay cool! 


Try to place the creature in a box or carton with something soft in the bottom and some air holes in the top; it should not be so large that the creature can be “thrown around” during transportation. 

If it is a larger animal it can be difficult, if you feel competent and you think it is necessary, try to move it to a place of relative safety while you contact them for transport or for other help to be arranged.

It is important to try to keep the creature as calm and stress free as possible and not have lots of people “having a look”.

Never force food or water, strictly speaking birds should not be given water – only wetted food should be offered.


Finally contact and then transport to the nearest rescue centre, on making telephone contact you may be given other instructions.


Your local LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux) will normally only take birds and they will normally transport them to a Centre de Sauvegarde who deal with all wild creatures, so if the Centre de Sauvegarde is nearer take it there.


This link will give you a list of Centres de Sauvegarde. http://tinyurl.com/au5ca


This link will give you the various LPO offices & centres.  http://www.lpo.fr/reseau/index.shtml


Or, if someone should feel the need, they can contact me for advice but I am often not at home (and I am hoping that others in France will add their details to this, there must be a lot of English speakers with experience on this site).


(0033) 05 49 87 65 04 or 05 49 87 65 18     E-mail. [email protected]


Please don’t be tempted to keep any wild animal or bird; the majority are protected by law. All creatures taken to a Centre de Sauvegarde are returned to the wild as soon as is practical.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I believe that leverets are another young animal parked by Mama Hare

while she goes about her daytime business and which should be left

where they are - usually in long grass - to enable her to return to


Re owls, I seem to remember that some owls (notably the Little Owl?) if

they fall from the nest, they are capable of climbing trees and

returning if not to their nest at least to a safe height.

What a good post: thanks Chris. :)

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