If you are worried about a young bird or baby animal that seems to be alone – watch it from a distance first to check that it is an orphan. The parents may be nearby and waiting for people to leave before returning to their baby. If you are still concerned - call for advice first.


It is normal for these babies to be left alone from an early age for long periods of time in grassy areas. Their mother will return to feed them, usually around dusk.

  • They may not be orphans. Watch from a distance or check again later to see if the mother returns.

  • If not please contact us for advice before you approach an animal.


Their mothers enclose baby rabbits inside a burrow and return to nurse them about once a day. The babies start to emerge at about 18 days old.

  • If they are above ground and their eyes are still closed they have probably been dug out by a predator and may need help.

  • Please contact us for advice before you approach an animal.


If you find a baby fox cub do not touch it. First assess the situation - check if there are other cubs nearby - it may have become separated from its family, or the mother may be nearby waiting for you to leave.


  • Please contact us for advice before you approach an animal.


If you find a baby hedgehog do not touch it - first assess the situation.

  • If it is a newborn in a nest or its eyes are open and there is no immediate danger leave it alone – the mother may return.

  • If it is out alone, small but active, you can offer a small bowl of meat-based (not fish) pet food and fresh water nearby. Never give hedgehogs bread and milk.


Intervene only if:

  • It’s eyes are closed and it is out alone.

  • It’s in immediate danger - such as on a road, or its mother has been killed.

  • It’s obviously injured.

  • It seems very small – weigh it on kitchen scales. If it is below 300g it may need help.


Collect it in a ventilated box with a towel or newspaper to cover it, keep it warm, and take to your nearest wildlife rehabilitation centre or vet. Do not be tempted to keep it at home – it is more likely to die and you could be doing more harm than good.

© 2020 by Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital.  All Rights Reserved 

Brent Lodge Bird & Wildlife Trust  Registered Charity 276179 

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