Wild animals can carry a variety of contagious diseases that can be transmitted to humans even if the animal is dead. Generally, the best thing to do is leave the animal alone. This protects both the individual and the animal.
Most wildlife at GUIS is harmless if left alone, even animals such as alligators, bears and venomous snake species are not particularly dangerous unless provoked, stepped on or otherwise harassed. Due to low likelihood of capture, snakes that are not in interior structures or maintain the ability to move will not be handled by National Park Service staff.
Hazardous animals include any animal that has the immediate potential to harm park staff and visitors, including the ability to transmit disease or cause bodily harm to humans. Often these animals do not fear humans, have been habituated to or fed by humans, or may be exhibiting symptoms of rabies or other contagious disease. All hazardous animals threatening human life and safety should be reported to the park so that the individual animal can be assessed.
If it is a true emergency and/or someone is being harmed or attacked, 911 should be contacted immediately.
Injured WildlifeGUIS is not equipped to take in or care for injured or orphaned wildlife and it is illegal to bring any wildlife to the park or remove wildlife from the park. The goal is to maintain ecological processes and though it might be difficult, naturally occurring animal deaths are one of those processes. Common species that are injured, sick or dying from natural causes are not taken to rehabilitation facilities and natural processes should be allowed to occur.
Park staff will respond if wildlife of a species of special concern (marine mammal, sea turtle, gopher tortoise, least tern, osprey, black skimmer, or plovers (snowy, Wilson’s or piping)), if the injury is related to human-induced impacts, or if deaths appear in large numbers. Due to low likelihood of capture, park staff will not respond to reports of injured birds that maintain the ability to fly. Loons and gannets commonly found resting ashore are not in need of response.
Additionally, under no circumstance should a hatchling, chick or other baby animal be removed from the wild. When finding a baby animal it is best to leave it alone. Often the animal is not orphaned, and the parent may be out getting food, or watching the baby from a distance. Never pick up baby animals and remove them from their natural environment. Park visitors should not bring animals into park facilities or visitor centers. Approaching or attempting to rescue wildlife that appears to need help, could put the individual or the animal in jeopardy.