The other day I found an injured baby gopher on my way home. He was sitting in the middle of the road, hissing at me on my bike. A car driver had circled the block for half an hour keeping an eye on the little fellow and told me he hasn’t moved an inch. I could see from a distance that his tail was covered in blood and he was shaking.
What to do?
When you find wildlife in the city there are a few things to consider:
- Some animals appear to be orphaned or injured but are actually just displaying instinctive animal behaviour. It is normal for offspring to be on their own while their parents are searching for food.
- If an animal is really injured you need to capture it and bring it in for treatment. Be cautious! An injured animal doesn’t know of your good intentions and might feel threatened by you. It might try to get away, scratch or bite you. It’s best to wear gloves and protective glasses.
- Keep an injured animal warm by wrapping it in a blanket or towel. If the animal is small enough you can also carry it in a cardboard box with holes. In general, keep the animal in a quiet place, warm and out of bright light.
- Call the Wildlife Rescue Line at (403) 239-2488.
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (CWRS) has a great collection of resources for finding wildlife. Please check out their website at calgarywildlife.org.
What happened to the gopher?
The CWRS office was already closed when I found the little guy. Wrapped in a blanket I took him home with me and then dropped him off at one of the 24-hour veterinary clinics that take in wildlife on behalf of the CWRS. It wasn’t until then that I noticed they actually do not accept gophers and ground squirrels. Gladly, they made an exception that night and took the baby gopher in for treatment.