Although it is one of our most fundamental rights to help other living beings in distress, various laws are in place to prevent the trade and illegal captivity of wild animals. As such, it is often illegal to house any wild animal even if it is only to provide temporary care to the animal.

It is your duty to know and respect the wildlife laws governing your state and country. If you do wish to look after a protected species temporarily, please get in touch with the relevant authorities – your local Forest Department or Fish and Wildlife Service for example, for permissions and follow the procedures for the same. You can also seek guidance from local rehabilitators and relevant NGO’s.

Do bear in mind that if a local facility exists to provide specialized care for the animal in concern, it may often be in the best interest of the animal to be hand-raised at home but rehabilitated in such a facility.

Useful links

BWRC (2012) Legislation

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Casey and Casey (undated) State regulations governing wildlife rehabilitation: a summary of ‘best practices’

Government of India: The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Joint Nature Conservation Committee: The wildlife and countryside act 1981

USFWS: A brief introduction to U.S. wildlife laws

United States Department of Agriculture: Animal Welfare Act