Cowling Arboretum follows DNR guidelines on how to handle sick or injured wildlife.
If you come across an injured or sick wild animal we suggest that you follow the steps below and for more information visit the DNR website.

Sick or Injured Wild Animals: Information if you encounter a sick or injured animal

Wild Animals

  1. Examine the situation to see if you can determine if the animal really is sick, injured or orphaned. Leave the animal where it was found and do not intervene if:
  • An animal is moving around vigorously or able to flee when approached 
  • The animal is potentially dangerous (biting, scratching, spreading disease)
  • If an animal is dying from natural causes
  1. If intervention is necessary, contact a rehabilitation center and make sure to bring the animal to the center. (See local rehabilitation centers below)
  • Ask for advice about how to capture the animal and always wear protective gloves. Do not bring any wild animals into a dormitory or Carleton building! (Neither the Security office nor the Arboretum can help with travel to a rehabilitation center, so consider this before you capture the animal.)
  • Once in your care, you need to transport quickly in order to really help; an animal may be better off left in the wild as opposed to confined to a box or cage where it cannot find food or water on its own and will be subject to more stress in an unnatural setting.

Small Birds

  • If you encounter a small injured bird in the wild, encourage the bird to move to a sheltered place.
  • Consult the National Audubon Society website for more information.


  • If a bat is located inside during business hours please call Facilities Management to relocate the bat. 
  • If the bat is located indoors after business hours, please call Security Services who will respond to help relocate the bat.  
  • When a bat has made physical contact with a person or if the bat is in an occupied sleeping area while someone is sleeping, Security Services or Facilities will attempt to capture the bat for testing for disease.

Orphaned Wild Animals: Information if you encounter an animal you suspect is orphaned

  1. Determine if the animal really is orphaned. This is tricky, as parents are often nearby gathering food for the young animals. Generally wait to see if the parents are nearby before handling and note:
  • Mother rabbits only feed their young every 12 hours, so they are often gone for long periods of time.
  • Young birds are often found on the ground or in shrubs when they are fledging.
  • Young squirrels are often unattended but generally are being moved by adults between nests. 
  • Don’t move young turtles unless they are in danger. It’s critical that turtles make their journeys on their own so they can become acquainted with their habitat.
  • Leave a young deer where found. Mother deer may leave their fawns alone for several days at a time.
  1. If you determine the animal is orphaned, contact a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Local rehabilitation centers:

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota – Roseville, MN
2530 Dale St, Roseville, MN 55113
Phone: 651-486-9410 

University of Minnesota Raptor Center – St. Paul, MN
1920 Fitch Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108
Specializes in handling eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, osprey, and vultures.
Phone: 612-624-4745

Cowling Arboretum:

Arboretum Staff Contact Page
Contact Arboretum staff if you observe multiple sick wildlife within close proximity.
Campus Security:  507-222-4444
Contact campus security if an animal poses a safety concern to you or others. (raccoons, deer, etc.)