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“If you care, leave it there”


How do you know when an animal is in trouble and when to leave it?


IMPORTANT Rules of thumb:

  • NEVER give any wildlife cow's milk.

  • Most animal mothers want their babies.  If you find a baby alone, remember that mom needs to find food too!

  • Do not give any food to wildlife.  Many have very specific diets and you could easily do more harm than good.

  • We can only take raccoons and fawns from certain counties so call us before you bring one in.

  • We cannot take skunks or bats.

  • Not sure what to do?  Call us.

  • Review list below for species-specific information.


A fawn is curled up in the woods...LEAVE IT! Mom is nearby watching.

A fawn is walking around your yard, following the dog…watch it for 12 hours and see if mom comes back.  If she doesn't, call the A.R.K.  Do NOT give it any cows milk!


A baby raccoon is wandering around crying...Put it in a warm and dry box that it can’t get out of but where mom can get in (use gloves, raccoons can be rabies carriers).  If mom doesn’t come back by the A.R.K.

A baby raccoon is wandering around your yard and looks wet, cold and the A.R.K. immediately! It probably has been on its own a while and is dehydrated and starving.


If you find  baby bird is on the ground, try to return it to the nest. Mom WILL NOT reject it, she has no sense of smell and she just wants her baby back. Does it have feathers?  Mom & Dad might be close by watching.  


If you cannot return the baby to the nest, you can use a small bucket and lay twigs crisscrossed on top.  If the twigs haven't been disturbed after several hours, then the mom has not returned. THEN call The A.R.K.  Never give them anything to eat or drink.

As with ALL wildlife, NO COWS' MILK.





A baby squirrel is on the ground…is there a nest in view? If not, put it in a box with towels and keep it warm until you can get it to the A.R.K. Do not feed it ANY milk.


Dead mom opossum, check her pouch, babies can survive in the pouch for up to 48 hours.  Keep them warm and get them to the A.R.K. as quickly as possible.  Don't feed them anything.  Tiny baby opossums are crawling around with no mother in sight...bring them to the A.R.K.  Opossum mothers will not retrieve lost babies.  



If a baby bunny is hopping around your yard...if he is hopping around, he is old enough to make it on his own.  Keep cats and dogs away from the area.



A baby weasel or 13-lined ground squirrel is crawling along the ground...bring it to the A.R.K. Weasel and ground squirrel babies never leave their underground den unless something has happened to mom.  

Swan poster image.GIF
Loon poster image.GIF
Eagle lead.GIF

The ARK rehabilitates hundreds of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife each year. Our goal is to return these animals to their natural habitats as soon as they are able to live independently. We also provide an educational resource to all people of the State of Michigan so we may promote a better understanding, treatment, and appreciation of Michigan's wildlife population.


Our program focuses on the following objectives:

  • to provide the best possible medical and first aid treatment to all animals brought to the center

  • to provide quality nutrition and appropriate housing to all animals in our care

  • to humanely euthanize any animal that is beyond help and hope

  • to provide educational information to the general public when they call for assistance with injured, orphaned, sick, or "nuisance" wildlife

  • to provide educational information to veterinarians and other professionals who come into contact with wildlife throughout Michigan

  • to release animals back into the wild in proper release sites, carefully selected to optimize the survival of the animal and to have minimal impact on humans

  • to educate adults and children through our slide presentations and educational displays

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