Sightings, sick, injured, or dead animals
Seeing wildlife can be incredible, but it can be hard to know what to do in certain situations. Maybe you have come across an injured or dead animal, or maybe you suspect that a crime has been committed.
Please scroll through our FAQs below on who to contact if you do find yourself in these situations.
Please note that the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire does not offer a general service for the care and rehabilitation of wildlife. We also do not offer any services related to the discovery, reporting, or disposal of dead animals, but our advice pages will help you know what to do if you find one.
Q: What should I do if I find a recently fledged bird?
It’s common in spring and summer to find young birds sitting on the ground or hopping about without any sign of their parents. The birds are beginning to leave the nests and the parents will usually be close by searching for food and keeping an eye on their chick.
Unless the bird is in immediate danger, it’s best to leave it where it is. If the bird is in a busy road or footpath, or is in danger of being attacked by predators, the bird can be moved a minimal distance but must still be in hearing range of the parents who will be nearby. For more information go to the RSPB website.
Q: What should I do if I find a sick or injured bird/animal?
Do not attempt to handle or transport a swan, goose, heron or gull; keep a safe distance.
The RSPCA and Help Wildlife carry advice that is more detailed on what to do if you find an injured bird or other wildlife. Help Wildlife also have a useful map to help find your local wildlife rescue service. Alternatively, you can contact one of the local specialists below but bear in mind they dot not usually provide transport.
Call the RSPCA if you find an injured swan. Tel: 0300 1234999.
What do I do if I find an injured hedgehog?
Hedgehogs usually hibernate between November through to mid March, but they can sometimes be seen out and about during this period changing nesting sites. It is unusual to see a hedgehog staggering around during winter or in daylight, so if you do see one and it looks unwell, it might need a helping hand. Contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society who can offer advice and help you find a local rescue centre.
Download the Wild About Gardens for Hedgehogs leaflet to find out more about hedgehogs and how to make your garden hog friendly
Shepreth Wildlife Park run a Hedgehog rehabilitation/rescue centre
Hospital Tel: 07505 651968
Out of hours emergency line: 07771 457693
Q: I have a snake in my garden, what can I do?
Snakes are protected by law in the UK. Grass snakes seek out piles of rotting vegetation in which to lay their eggs in early summer, and the snakes and their eggs are protected by law from killing and injury.
There is lots of useful information on the Froglife website.
If you find grass snake eggs, report the sighting to your local Biological Records Centre (see below) or use Froglife’s app to make a record. Your sightings can help local understanding of where Grass Snakes occur.
Q: How can I help wildlife in my garden?
There are numerous ways in which you can help wildlife in your own garden, from creating bug hotels and bird nest boxes to providing hibernation spots for frogs and toads. Visit our wildlife actions section for ideas and inspiration.
Q: How do I report a wildlife sighting in my area?
Please do tell us about the wildlife you have spotted in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire and on our reserves! Your information will increase our knowledge of our local wildlife and its distribution, and help us to make better decisions about conservation management.
There are three Local Record Centres hosted by the Wildlife Trust BCN, which together cover the Local Authority areas of Bedfordshire and Luton, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and Northamptonshire.
- Bedfordshire and Luton Biodiversity Recording and Monitoring Centre (BRMC) bedsbionet.org.uk
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Environmental Records Centre (CPERC) cperc.org.uk
- Northamptonshire Biological Records Centre (NBRC) northantsbrc.org.uk
They need to know:
- What – the species (and number if more than one)
- When – the date seen
- Where – the location of the sighting (a grid reference or postcode is best)
- Who – contact details in case any further details are needed
Q: How can I report a wildlife crime?
Reporting wildlife crime ensures incidents are formally logged with the police, enabling easier research of wildlife crime at a later date if required. There is no reason to approach individuals committing offences. Find out more about Wildlife Crime.
Wildlife crime includes:
- Killing protected species
- Disturbing protected species
- Damaging the breeding and resting places of protected species
- Illegally trading in endangered species
To report a wildlife crime:
If you witness a wildlife crime taking place, call 999
For a non-emergency call 101
If you would like to anonymously give information regarding a crime, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111