Groundhogs and Beavers


If a sick or injured adult groundhog or beaver is ever found, do not attempt to touch or pick it up. Groundhogs and beavers see humans as predators, and will act defensively if they feel they are in danger. They have extremely strong jaws and sharp teeth, and their bites HURT! If you find one that needs assistance, call your local wildlife clinic or rehabilitator for assistance. Keep an eye on the animal until they are able to arrive.

If you need to transport the animal to a clinic or rehabilitator yourself, get a tub, crate, or cage that is both large and sturdy enough to hold and contain the animal (anything made of cardboard or wood is not recommended). Once you have found one, place it near the animal and use something like a broom to gently push the animal into the tub, crate, or cage–do not attempt to push or place the animal into the container with your hands. After you have successfully gotten the animal into the container, carefully and securely close the container, and keep noises down; wildlife is very stressed by noises, so keeping noises down will help calm the animal. If the animal is in a cage, crate, or clear tub, place a towel or blanket over it so that the animal cannot see out. This will also help calm the animal. Once the animal is securely in a covered container, transport it to your nearest wildlife clinic or rehabilitation facility right away.

If the animal is able to move well on its own, call your local wildlife clinic or rehabilitation facility, and keep an eye on the animal from a distance while you wait for help to arrive. If the animal is moving around and not staying in one area, try to blockade the animal off in an area until help arrives.

Baby Groundhog or Beaver (kits)

It is highly unusual for a young groundhog or beaver to be out of its den–especially if it is little with closed eyes. Look around and see if you see mom nearby–if not, it is important to check the baby to ensure that the baby is alive and has no injuries. Wear gloves if you will be touching the baby. If injured, call your local clinic or wildlife rehabilitator for assistance; wait for help to arrive, or follow their instructions to safely get the baby to the facility without worsening the injury. If the baby has no apparent injuries, it is then of most importance to immediately get the baby warm. Wrap it in a towel or blanket, and, if possible, place the blanket-wrapped baby on a low-set heating pad. Never place the baby directly on a heating pad without a towel or blanket, for the baby could suffer skin burns. Once you have done this, call your local wildlife or rehabilitation facility. If possible, immediately take the baby to the clinic or rehabilitator once warm.

Do not keep or attempt to rear the baby yourself, and do not offer any food or attempt to feed. These young animals have special nutritional and caretaking needs that only a trained professional can attend to. Additionally, not only is it illegal to keep a kit, but kits raised by humans do not adapt well to captivity; they also do not survive well in the wild if released from captivity.  Remember, as cute as these animals can be, they are wild animals and not domestic pets.