It is an unfortunate consequence of human’s dominion over nature that sometimes wildlife is harmed. Luckily for us, we have some local resources that can help injured wildlife. It seems like I am always coming across some poor bird or other critter that is in obvious distress.
NC State Vet School’s Turtle Team will accept all injured herps (reptiles and amphibians). They are wonderful! They even let you release the animal back where you found it once it is healed. I once found a box turtle at Anderson Point Park (our Adopt-A-Park) with an aural swelling. I was leading a bird walk at the time-I am sure the participants thought I was crazy! I brought him to Turtle Hospital (at the NCSU Vet School Animal Emergency Clinic) and hoped he would be OK. Months later I get a call that he’s ready to go home! It was such a delight to pick him up and bring him back to Anderson Point Park. I watched as he wandered off towards the point and wished him luck.
Once I hit a toad with my bicycle and injured his eye. I brought him to the Turtle Team and time faded away. About a year later I get another call. Unbelievable, Genghis Toad was ready to go home. I’m not sure why he got that particular moniker (he was a small toad) but I thought it was pretty cute that he had been named. He had been living and recuperating with one of the vet students. He was blind in the injured eye but was a good eater so it was time to come home. I let him go in my backyard, just a short distance from where his injury had taken place.
Other animals can be taken to Triangle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. I have brought them birds and bunnies. They will accept all native wildlife. They will also allow you to release the animal back where it was found which is vital for the animal’s success.
Some tips if you find an injured animal:
-Be very careful handling injured wildlife. You do not want to get bit!
-Do not offer food or water.
-Keep animal in a ventilated cardboard box in a warm, dark, quiet area away from children and pets.
-Please support the institution with a donation. I read once that it costs, on average, $40 to rehabilitate an injured animal, so I always write a check for $40 with each animal I bring to a rehabber.
One other very important thing to keep in mind is that many of the animals that are brought in to these clinics are injured by cats!! Please do your part to keep wildlife (and cats!) safe; keep your cat indoors!
NCSU Turtle Team: 919-513-6500
Triangle Wildlife: 919-544-3330
Thanks for doing your part to keep our wild animals safe and happy!—Kari Wouk, WAS Board Member