If you see wildlife that is visibly injured, sick or deceased at a UW location, report it promptly to EH&S via our reporting form (UWNetID required) or by calling (206) 543-7262.
The University works with federal wildlife biologists and professional contractors to evaluate animals, and where necessary, to support safe and appropriate removal of sick, injured, or dead wildlife from campus locations.
After reporting it to EH&S, take these actions:
- Do not touch or attempt to move a deceased, sick or injured animal. This can spread illness (if the animal is sick), lead to injury to yourself or further injury to the animal. Some wildlife species are protected; removing and handling a protected animal is illegal and should only be done by state or federal wildlife biologists and licensed wildlife rehabilitators.
- Be quiet and give a sick or injured animal space. An injured or sick animal will be stressed and may act unpredictably (e.g., bite or scratch) if it feels threatened. Wildlife survives by instinctually avoiding interactions with humans and domestic animals. Habituating wildlife to human contact may endanger them and you. Also, human voices, touch, and presence are not soothing to wildlife; they further stress an animal already in a compromised state.
- Do not allow pets to get close to or touch the animal. This can spread illness if the animal is sick, lead to injury to your pet, and further injure and stress the wild animal.
- Do not attempt to give the animal food or water. Though well-intentioned, giving an injured or unwell animal food or water often further harms it. Wildlife can die due to improper feeding or watering or if fed inappropriate food items. Injured or unwell animals can be in shock, or their body may be so compromised that it cannot process food and water. Leaving food out next to an injured animal will also draw pests and other wildlife to the injured or sick animal’s location.
- Avoid unprotected contact with any secretions or excrement from wildlife. Wash hands with soap and water if you have touched surfaces that have been in contact with the animal or animal secretions.
Animals in their natural environment know their needs best. If we can spare wildlife the stress of being handled and transported away from their natural surroundings, we should. Often wild animals do not require human intervention unless they are in immediate danger, are clearly sick or injured, or showing signs of distress.