Injured animals

What should you do if you see an animal in distress? Not all animals need help from humans, but you should contact the authorities in some cases. 

Call the emergency number 112, if public safety is at risk. Seeing an elk walking on the road or a horse that has fallen into a ditch are examples of such situations. It is quite normal to have wild animals moving about in suburban areas, so you should not be alarmed if you see an animal.

Below you will find more detailed instructions on what to do in situations where an animal might need help.

Birds

Call the animal rescue number +358 (0)9 310 30151 in the following events:

  • A bird has broken its wing or the wing is dangling or has blood on it.
  • A bird has flown indoors or been caught somewhere, and you are unable to help it. You can usually shoo the bird away by closing the curtains in the room and opening a window or door. The bird should fly toward the light.
  • A bird is covered in oil or clearly has an injured leg.
  • A young bird looks orphaned or has fallen out of the nest, and you are unable to return it to the nest yourself.
  • A mallard’s nest is located in a strange place, and the birds do not have a safe route to water.
  • A swallow is on the ground and cannot fly.
  • A swan looks frozen or cannot fly, even when you try to shoo it away.

You do not need to contact anyone in the following situations:

  • A bird is limping, but looks healthy and flies off when you shoo it.
  • A young bird is alone, but in good health.
  • A young gull is on the ground and the mother bird is protecting its young.
  • A small bird is missing one of its legs, but it does fly off when you shoo it.

Mammals

Mammals include hares, hedgehogs, foxes and deer. Call the animal rescue number +358 (0)9 310 30151 in the following events:

  • An animal has been hit by a car but is still alive.
  • An animal has fallen from a great height or into a hole in the ice.
  • An animal is clearly injured or trapped, caught in a net or has fallen into a pit, and you are unable to help it yourself.
  • An animal is visibly unwell, but you are unsure why. (A fox or raccoon dog has shaggy fur or clear patches of skin are showing, for example. The condition of the fur can be indicative of mange.)
  • The animal’s mother has been hit by a car and the young animal is circling the mother.
  • A squirrel is indoors and cannot find its way out. You can usually shoo the squirrel away by closing the curtains in the room and opening a window or door. The squirrel should exit the room toward the light.

If you see elk, deer or large predators in the inner city of Helsinki or in busy roads, call the police by dialling the public emergency number 112.

You do not need to contact anyone if you see the following:

  • baby hares or rabbits by themselves, as the mother feeds its young once a day in the evening or early morning hours
  • a three-legged perky hedgehog that is not bleeding. Hedgehogs can manage with three legs.

Reptiles/lizards

Call the animal rescue number +358 (0)9 310 30151 in the following events:

  • A reptile of foreign origin, e.g. a snake, escapes or is found in public areas, and there is no knowledge of who owns it.
  • A wild reptile has entered a building.
  • A non-poisonous pet reptile has escaped and is in a confined space, and you are unable to move it.

Insects

Call the emergency number 112, if wasps or bees are swarming indoors and they pose a clear threat to humans. If these or other insects are found inside the building’s structures, contact your building manager or a pest control company directly.

Animal abuse

If you suspect or witness cases where you feel that animals are being treated badly, contact the City of Helsinki animal protection veterinarian or the police during office hours. Helsinki Police Department has a designated investigative group for animal welfare offences. You can file the notification at the Helsinki Police Department in person or via e-mail to elainsuojelurikokset.helsinki@poliisi.fi. In the event of an emergency, call 112.

Further information:

Viikin löytöeläintalo animal shelter

The Veterinary Teaching Hospital in
Viikki 

Animal pages of the City of Helsinki
Environment Centre 

Korkeasaari Zoo hospital for wild animals

The
Finnish Environment Institute

The
Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (permits to carry out roof renovations during the nesting season, for example)

Finnish
Food Authority (formerly the Finnish Food Safety Authority) (bird flu, etc.)

Helsinki
Police Department

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