Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about YWS, Sancturies in general, and what to do if you find an injured or ophaned animal. If you don’t see an answer to your question below, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you Find an Injured or Orphaned Animal
If an animal or bird appears to be “orphaned”:
- Remember that wild animals, including the young, are very resilient in their natural landscape.
- The parents are likely nearby but may not return to their young while you’re there. Or parents may return and become aggressive toward you if they feel concerned, approached, or cornered.
- Taking a young animal home with you will stress it, make it dependent on you, and may be against the law.
- Leave the animal or bird alone and keep your pets away from it.
- If an animal appears to be injured, call Montana WILD Wildlife Rehabilitation Center 406-431-1110 and ask for guidance.
- If a bird appears to be injured, call Montana Raptor Conservation Center 406-585-1211 and ask for guidance.
Outside of Montana, check with the nearest office of your state fish/game/wildlife agency for guidance when you come upon an injured wild animal or bird.
You are welcome to call Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary 406-446-1133 for information. Note that we cannot accept wildlife without approval from state and federal authorities.
What is a Sanctuary?
A wildlife sanctuary provides a safe, life-long home where the animal residents are treated with dignity, compassion, and respect from the day the arrive until their end of days. Our sanctuary exists for the welfare of our wildlife. We are committed to the highest level of care for our residents.
Do Wildlife Sanctuaries Need Special Permits?
Yes. The required licenses vary from state to state, but any wildlife sanctuary must be licensed by the USDA and if they have migratory birds, a USFW license is also necessary. We hold:
• Class C Exhibitor Certificate #81-C-0059 from USDA/APHIS.
• Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Zoo Permit #165330
• Migratory Bird Permit #MB026859-4 from US Fish & Wildlife
• Montana State Domestic Non Profit Corporation business license #D057302
• Accreditation by the American Sanctuary Association
I Found this Bird. Can I keep it?
Generally, no. It’s legal to keep pigeons, house sparrows, and starlings as pets. All other wild birds are illegal to possess unless you have appropriate permits. There are state laws, federal laws, and international treaties that control individuals keeping birds.
Why do some of the animals look old or injured?
Many of our animals have lived far beyond their life expectancy in the wild, and many of them came here because of serious injuries.
Safe environments, careful dietary control, regular healthcare, behavioral enrichment, stress management, and many other factors keep our animals healthy and happy for a long time.