Encountering wild animals usually fills people with excitement and wonder. However, there are times when being face-to-face with nature poses a new set of problems. Below, we have provided links to information on how to deal with nuisance wildlife and sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.
To report nuisance, injured or sick wildlife, call toll-free in Maryland 1-877-463-6497. US Department Agriculture (USDA), Wildlife Services Operators are available from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, except State holidays. For phone numbers outside of Maryland, please call: 410-349-8130.
Sometimes, it is necessary to learn how to prevent frequent visits by wildlife to your home or neighborhood. It may even become necessary to remove Nuisance Wildlife from your property. To find out about safe and legal ways to deal with these problem animals or to locate individuals or companies who are licensed by the Wildlife & Heritage Service to handle wildlife complaints, please call USDA Wildlife Services 1-877-463-6497 from Maryland or 410-349-8130 from outside of Maryland, visit http://wildlifehelp.org or refer to linked list below.
Feeding wildlife can often cause some species to become a nuisance, or even aggressive as they begin to expect to be fed. Please refer to our page on some
problems with feeding wildlife. Links in the sidebar provide more information on what to do with certain nuisance wildlife species.
Please note: Homeowners are strictly prohibited from trapping and shooting wildlife outside regulated seasons, unless the animal has been actively causing property damage or is an obvious threat to public health and safety. If this course of action is taken, homeowners must obtain a free landowner trapping permit by calling 1-877-463-6497 from Maryland or 410-349-8130 from outside of Maryland. Permittees must comply with permit requirements and local firearms restrictions.
Relocation of rabies-vector species (raccoon, skunk, and fox) is prohibited under the
Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 08.03.15.24. This restriction is necessary to prevent human-assisted spread of this disease and is an important component of the state’s nuisance wildlife control program.
Sick, Injured, or Orphaned Wildlife
In Maryland, Wildlife Rehabilitators are volunteers, licensed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service to care for orphaned, sick, or injured wildlife until they can be released safely into the wild. An unlicensed citizen may NOT attempt to rehabilitate an animal on their own. This is legislated through
COMAR 08.03.12. To find a rehabilitator near you, then please refer to the linked list below.
If you think you have found a sick or injured animal, then please visit our page on
Sick and Injured Wildlife to assess the situation.
If you think you have found an orphaned wild animal, then please visit our page on
Rescuing Young Wildlife to assess the situation.
For a list of licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators near your home or business, please call USDA Wildlife Services 1-877-463-6497 from Maryland or 410-349-8130 from outside of Maryland, or refer to the hyperlinked list of Wildlife Rehabilitators above.
White-tailed deer with discarded refuse on its head
Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Role
Unfortunately, the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Wildlife and Heritage Service (WHS) does not have the staff or resources to respond to every injured or distressed wildlife report. WHS also does not rehabilitate wildlife, but they do administer permits for those interested in becoming licensed. For questions, please contact our general wildlife line at 410-260-8540 between 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday, except State Holidays.
- Raccoon in trash by Alexa Clark, Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
- “Bubble” deer by Maryland Department of Natural Resources
For more information, please contact:
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife and Heritage Service
Tawes State Office Building, E-1
Annapolis MD 21401
Toll-free in Maryland: 1-877-620-8DNR, Ext. 8540