Wildlife Rehabilitation

Image: Class looking at wildlife at the field station

The field station has a private rehabilitation wing in which staff and student interns care for injured and orphaned birds, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals. Our facility partners with the Medina Raptor Center and the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center at Penitentiary Glen Reservation. Our student interns also have opportunities to train with these partners.

Injured Wildlife

If an animal exhibits any of the following signs, it’s in need of assistance:

  • Can’t walk
  • Stumbling
  • Moving in circles
  • Bleeding
  • Cold and unconscious
  • Covered in maggots/flies
  • Obvious broken bone
  • Hit by car
  • Attacked by dog/cat

Orphaned Wildlife

During the spring and summer, it is not uncommon to see baby animals in your yard or while visiting a park. It is important to give these babies space so they can successfully grow up into adults. Keep pets away from babies, especially cats since their saliva is toxic to animals. Young wildlife grows quickly, so keeping pets inside and/or leashed for a few days is often all it takes to give these animals the opportunity to thrive. Oftentimes, animal parents will leave their young unattended while they are off finding food, so it’s not unusual to see a baby alone. Baby birds can be seen on the ground hopping around after they have fledged from their nest, and parents are usually somewhere nearby and will continue to care for them until they are old enough to be on their own. Wild parents rarely abandon their young, and will still raise them even if the baby has been touched by a human or another animal.

If an animal is in need of assistance and needs to be captured to take to a permitted wild rehabilitator, follow these guidelines:

  • Always wear gloves
  • Carefully follow the instructions given to you by the wildlife rehabilitator for safe capture
  • Try to cover the animal with a towel before picking it up to place in a carrier, box, etc.
  • Keep the animal in darkness to reduce stress
  • Make sure the box, carrier, etc. is closed tightly so the animal does not escape during transport
  • Do not let your children or pets have any contact with the animal. Rabies vector species such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats should not be touched! Contact your county wildlife officer and/or a permitted wildlife rehabilitator for assistance. Certain rehabbers are permitted to care for rabies vector species.

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