The Arctic Marble Fox Isn’t Arctic!

Despite its name, this beauty is a member of the exact same species that you might find naturally in your own neighborhood, right here in Chattanooga. “Arctic marble”’ foxes are simply a color variation of the red fox species. Although the marble pattern was popularized by the fur industry and pet trade, the mutation canContinue reading “The Arctic Marble Fox Isn’t Arctic!”

Will a Mother Abandon a Bird my Child Picked Up?

It’s a common myth that wild animals will abandon their young because of the smell of a human hand. Animal parents have a strong instinct to nurture their babies, and many don’t have a sense of smell strong enough to even notice human handling. If your child has handled a baby animal and the animalContinue reading “Will a Mother Abandon a Bird my Child Picked Up?”

Rabid Animal? Don’t Shoot!

I specialize in rescuing rabies vector species. Among the most frustrating calls, messages, and comments I receive are from people bragging about how they saw a “rabid” animal, and reacted by shooting it in the head. When an animal does have genuinely rabies-like symptoms, it must be euthanized, not just for human safety, but forContinue reading “Rabid Animal? Don’t Shoot!”

Can I Remove a Bird’s Nest?

Every year, tens of thousands of birds across the United States are illegally killed. It happens when apartment maintenance crews pressure-wash barn swallow nests from building sides. It happens when home owners “clean up” nests on their porches. It happens when store owners clear out the nests on their signs. Make no mistake: no matterContinue reading “Can I Remove a Bird’s Nest?”

How to Coexist with Black Bears

No animal exemplifies the spirit of Tennessee’s wilderness quite like the black bear. But, as these beautiful animals’ populations increase, they may occasionally be seen in town. A black bear seen in the suburbs does not need to be killed or removed, unless it is showing signs that it has become acclimated to humans. IfContinue reading “How to Coexist with Black Bears”

Killing Foxes Won’t Save Chickens

Killing a fox to protect your chickens is not only ineffective— it often makes matters worse. Foxes are territorial and will exist in any suitable habitat. When you kill a big, mature, chicken-eating fox, his territory will almost immediately be filled by two or three younger foxes. Even if you kill them too— even ifContinue reading “Killing Foxes Won’t Save Chickens”

Who You Callin’ Chicken Hawk?

In our area, many people still use the old term “chicken hawk” to refer to redtailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks. This term is a misnomer. Although these birds will occasionally opportunistically prey on chickens that aren’t properly secured, chickens comprise only a tiny portion of their diets and are generally larger than theirContinue reading “Who You Callin’ Chicken Hawk?”