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Go back to our general advice page for how to help injured wildlife

Helping larger wildlife

Do not attempt to catch or transport larger injured animals, such as deer, badgers, foxes or seals. Without the appropriate training and equipment, you can hurt yourself and put these animals at risk of further injuries.

If you do come across a wild animal that seems to be injured or in distress: 

  • Keep your distance - so you do not scare them. Keep other people and pets away too. 
  • Find out your exact location -This will help any wildlife responders looking for the animal.
  • Call in the experts - A local wildlife rehabilitation centre might be able to give you advice or send someone to help too

Apply common sense when approaching an injured animal

  • Never lift a wild animal, unless you are sure that you can do so without risk to yourself or others. 
  • If there is no other option than to pick the animal up yourself, and you are sure it is safe to do so, wear gloves.
  • Keep the animal away from your face.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling an animal.
  • Take care in dangerous locations, such as on a busy road. Watch from a distance first to see whether the animal is still alive, and call for help if you can’t reach it safely.
  • Never try to free an animal from a snare or trap – you risk hurting yourself and the animal, and it could be an offence if the animal was legally caught.

Capturing small and injured wildlife

If it is safe to catch and handle the animal, then, wearing suitable gloves, quickly place it into a secure cardboard box with ventilation holes, lined with a towel or newspaper. Keep the animal quiet and take it to a wildlife centre, local wildlife rehabilitator or your local vet.

Wangford Veterinary Clinic are always happy to help injured wildlife. However, all too often specialist care is required, which is best given by wildlife centres such as those listed. If you can, transporting the animal directly there all helps to minimise the stress for the animal and allows prompt treatment.

When to help if they aren’t injured

Injured or sick wildlife can behave strangely. Nocturnal creatures like  bats who usually only come out at night might be seen during the day if they aren’t well. Hedgehogs sometimes come out during the day so unless they look unwell or injured they should be left to continue their journey.

Any wildlife, especially birds that are caught by a cat or dog, should be examined by a vet even if they aren’t visibly injured because being caught or carried by these pets can cause shock or fatal septicaemia.


Finding a grounded or lost bat is a unique experience. For many people, it will be the first time they have come close to one of these fascinating and unappreciated creatures. And knowing you've helped a bat survive is a feeling like no other!

Although bats are protected by law, you're allowed to handle a bat in trouble in order to assist it. There is a small risk of rabies transmission from bat bites and scratches in the UK, but you can protect yourself by using the special containment procedure and wearing gloves.

If you can safely reach the bat, the next step is to contain it in a box. It may sound daunting, but it's really not that complicated! 

Start by creating a bat care box. You will need: 

  • A shoe box, with holes punched in the lid (or container of equivalent size) 
  • A cloth or tea towel
  • A plastic bottle cap for water (milk bottle tops are perfect)

You may be able to get the bat into the box without touching it, as described below. But if you do need to touch it, please WEAR GLOVES due to the small risk of rabies transmission. You're very unlikely to be bitten or scratched if you follow our procedure, but if it does happen, please seek immediate medical advice.

  1. If possible, contain the bat as you would a spider, by placing the box on top of it and sliding a piece of card underneath. If that's not possible cover the bat with a soft cloth, such as a tea towel, and carefully scoop it up and place it in your bat care box. (It's especially important to wear gloves if you use the second method.) 
  2. Put a tea towel or soft cloth in the box for the bat to hide under.
  3. Prepare a bat "water dish." Take a small, shallow container such as a plastic milk bottle top or furniture caster and add just a few drops of water (not enough for the bat to drown in). Put this in the box so the bat can help itself to a drink. Make sure the water is topped up regularly.
  4. Keep the bat indoors somewhere quiet and dark while you call the National Bat Helpline. Please keep pets and children away from the box. Please bear in mind the Bat Helpline is really busy during the summer so you may not be able to get through straight away. There's no need to give the bat any food, or to put anything in the box besides the cloth and water.

Important: Please don't release the bat before getting further advice.

Wildlife Rescue information and contact details

Bat Rescue

The National Bat Helpline
Telephone: 0345 1300 228   

Hedgehog Rescue

Hedgerows Hedgehog Rescue
Address: 30 Yarrow Dr, Carlton Colville, Lowestoft NR33 8NG   
Phone: 07711 272439  
Website: https://hedgerows-hedgehog-rescue.business.site

Suffolk Hedgehog Hospital 
Address: 2 The Hill, Ousden, Newmarket, Suffok CB8 8TW  
Phone Number: 01638 500295    
Secondary Phone Number: 07702 211302 / 07789 986763  
Website: https://www.suffolkhedgehoghospital.com/ 

Suffolk Prickles Hedgehog Rescue  
Address: Meadow Cottage, Stonham Aspal IP14 5DT  
Phone: 07469 177090  
Website: https://suffolkprickles.org/ 
Email: suffolkprickleshedgehogrescue@gmail.com  

Variety of wildlife helped   

Foxy Lodge Wildlife Rescue - Birds of all kinds, Hedgehogs, Deer and Foxes
Address: Newport Rd, Hemsby, Great Yarmouth NR29 4NN  
Phone: 01493 384237 Phone between 9am – 5pm   
Website: http://www.foxylodge.yolasite.com/  
Email: jgarner1@toucansurf.com  

Note: Inclusion in our directory is NOT an endorsement. You are strongly advised to check the suitability of any organisation you contact to help with your wildlife casualty