Reuniting and Renesting Orphaned Wildlife

Reuniting and Renesting Orphaned Wildlife
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-03-18
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Reuniting and Renesting Orphaned Wildlife
Unit 2 Transcript: Reuniting and Renesting Orphaned Wildlife
Unit 3 Workbook: Reuniting and Renesting Orphaned Wildlife
Unit 4 Recording: Reuniting and Renesting Orphaned Wildlife

Humans and animals are co-existing knowingly or unknowingly in communities. There is so much that humans must learn about wildlife to be able to interact with them better. Too often, it is our lack of understanding that is causing interference to their way of living. This webinar unpacks how this lack of awareness is causing problems for the different wildlife species and challenges for the entities that are working with wildlife and are already overwhelmed doing so.

This session’s instructor is John Griffin, the Senior Director of Urban Wildlife Programs for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). He has more than 20 years of hands-on experience resolving conflicts between humans and various species of urban wildlife.

Specifics of this discussion is on:

  • A brief overview of the HSUS efforts to raise awareness on urban wildlife through the Wild Neighbors Program, their publications and resources, and the events they hold.
  • The realities of an urban ecosystem where animals are co-existing with humans in communities, and how animals are able to adapt to these environments well.
  • Topline statistics demonstrating the work the HSUS has been doing particularly the increase in reunification efforts in more recent years.
  • The importance of reuniting animals with their young which translates to better chances of survival and unburdening wildlife rehabilitators and other related entities.
  • Precautions to remember when capturing, handling, and transporting wildlife.
  • Instances when community members can facilitate the reunification themselves and situations when a wildlife rehabilitator’s expertise is required.
  • A walkthrough of the working steps and simple framework for reuniting parent animals with their young.
    • Assessing the animal’s behaviors that may indicate orphaning and its physical health and providing clear execution steps and plan of action based on the assessment.
    • Deciding whether an active or passive reunion will be implemented based on information collected.
    • Determining the appropriate container to use which considers the current weather/temperature, the species, its age and size, and the durability required.
    • Monitoring after the reunion to confirm the success of the reunion effort.
  • A breakdown of things to consider and remember by species detailing on:
    • The circumstances that surround the separation of the young from their moms or their nest.
    • How to best handle these kidnapped cases or separations and reunite the moms with their young.
    • Tools that may be used to facilitate reunification like vocal luring and reunion boxes.
    • The need to educate people about animal’s maternal instinct, how animals rear their young and determining whether a young is actually orphaned or not.
    • Guidelines on the type of container or reunion box to use depending on the species and conditions.
    • How to avoid conflicts with protective moms when attempting to reunite their young with them.
  • Multiple videos and photo are provided demonstrating how reunifications are best executed.

Questions from the audience were about:

  • Debunking the myth that moms will reject their young if they detect human scent on it.
  • Offering water to found wildlife.
  • State-to-state regulations on animals not allowed for wildlife rehabilitation.
  • Resources to acquire the tools used for reunification.
  • The frequency in which does nurse their fawn.


Other Webinars with HSUS:


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “This webinar was very useful because it provided a good overview on the approaches to wildlife that is presumed to be orphaned.”  — Alona
  • “Photos and videos speak a thousand words – Really great to see the ‘how to’ in action and very useful for training.”  — Andrea
  • “Thank you so much for providing these webinars. As a wildlife volunteer, I really appreciate all of this info and try to educate myself so I can educate others on how to humanely deal with wildlife issues and concerns. Big kudos to the Justice Clearinghouse! Thank you!” — Nicole
  • “I learned that wildlife moms of many species will still seek out their young after many days of separation, and even after traumatic events. I was also reminded of the value of playing vocalizations to attract moms–I heard this recently for the first time but it hasn’t stuck yet.” — James
  • “I think the most valuable thing was learning how to implement “reunion boxes” and different ways to get wildlife to move their babies from an unsafe area. It provides a better way and understanding for the public to not think of wildlife as a “nuisance” but a way of life and to co-exist without causing harm.” — Madalyn
  • “Loved the videos and real-life examples, very helpful!” — Tara
  • “All the teachings, really: How to successfully return, how to place, vocal recordings….everything very helpful.” — Marie Louise




View our Animal Welfare Webinar  Schedule and Recordings



This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.




This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.





Additional Resources
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