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Sick or Dead Wildlife Reporting

DNR staffer testing animal

Indiana DNR’s Sick or Dead Wildlife Reporting System collects information about wildlife that appear sick or appear to have died without an apparent cause. Occasionally, biologists may use the information to collect samples. Reports may not be immediately reviewed by a biologist. Reports are added to a database that tracks trends over time and helps detect outbreaks.

What to report

Our Wildlife Health Team is especially interested in:

  • Recurring deaths of animals in the same location over a period of time.
  • Individual deer with signs that may indicate Chronic Wasting Disease (emaciation, exhibiting abnormal behavior such as staggering or standing with poor posture, salivating excessively, or carrying their head and ears lower than normal).
  • Individual deer with signs that may indicate Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (death in or near water, loss of appetite and wariness, swelling around the head and neck, increased respiration rate, excessive salivation, rosy or bluish color of mouth and tongue).
  • Incidents involving threatened or endangered species, regardless of the cause of death or the number of animals involved.

However, even reports of incidents involving common species and single animals are useful for understanding baseline levels of sickness and death in wildlife populations.

Don't report domesticated fowl

The Sick or Dead Wildlife Report is not intended to collect information on domesticated fowl, defined as chickens, turkeys, ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries, waterfowl (domesticated fowl that normally swim, such as ducks, geese and swans), game birds (domesticated fowl such as pheasants, pea fowl, partridge, quail, grouse, and guineas). For information on reporting sick domesticated fowl, visit this page.

Don’t request removal of dead animals

The Sick or Dead Wildlife Report is not intended to collect information on roadkill or provide dead animal removal services.

  • Contact Indiana Department of Transportation to collect roadkill on state and federal highways. Local public works or sanitation departments collect wildlife killed on their own streets.
  • For dead wildlife removal on private property, contact a wildlife control operator or remove dead wildlife yourself. Wear gloves, double bag small animals in plastic bags or garbage bags, and dispose of them in the trash. In Indiana, other legal disposal options include burial, incineration, rendering, and composting.

Don’t report orphaned and injured animals

The Sick or Dead Wildlife Report is not intended to provide services for orphaned and injured animals. If you have witnessed an animal that is still alive and has a traumatic physical injury, contact a permitted wildlife rehabilitator. For more information about young wildlife and what to do if you find an orphaned wild animal, visit this web page.

Don’t report deaths from rehabilitators or animal control services

The Sick or Dead Wildlife Report is not intended to collect information on wildlife that die in the care of a wildlife rehabilitator or as the result of nuisance wildlife animal control services. Wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife control operators will record those deaths of wildlife through separate reporting requirements.

Report a Sick or Dead Animal

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