Prevent Pandemics: Don’t Feed Wildlife

For years, raccoons have been suffering through a catastrophic pandemic introduced to them by domestic dogs. Canine distemper is a highly contagious, horrifically painful, and invariably fatal disease that infects large numbers of raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes in Tennessee. As many as half of the calls we receive are related to cases of canineContinue reading “Prevent Pandemics: Don’t Feed Wildlife”

Opossums Need Shelter to Survive Winter

Opossums are, ultimately, tropical animals. Out of over 100 opossum species in the world, nearly all live in the hot deserts and rainforests and Central and South America. Opossums aren’t equipped with adaptations for surviving winter: they can’t hibernate, and they have naked feet, tails, and ears that are highly susceptible to frostbite. Our nativeContinue reading “Opossums Need Shelter to Survive Winter”

Keep Raccoons Out of Your Attic this Winter

‘Tis the season! In winter, raccoons enter a hibernation-like state called torpor and will spend most of the season curled up in their cozy dens, resting and staying warm. For most raccoons, especially youngsters who have recently left their mothers, an attic looks like a ideal den. They’re dry, warm, insulated, and inaccessible to largerContinue reading “Keep Raccoons Out of Your Attic this Winter”

Do Coyotes Lure and Kill Dogs?

We humans have a strange urge to create monsters. For many, it’s not enough for believe in predators that hunt prey. We have to also project strange, sinister, and even supernatural forces onto the creatures who share our planet. Since the beginning of time, we’ve created and exaggerated stories of dragons that abduct maidens, giantContinue reading “Do Coyotes Lure and Kill Dogs?”

Wildlife Rehabilitators Don’t Remove “Nuisance” Animals

The calls come several times a day. Angry and gruff and terse. “I have raccoons in my attic and need you to come and get them.” “A fox got my chickens. Come get it or I’ll kill it.” “I heard a coyote. Either you come remove it or I’ll put a bullet in it.” We’reContinue reading “Wildlife Rehabilitators Don’t Remove “Nuisance” Animals”

Rat Poison Causes Mange in Bobcats

Rodents aren’t the only ones who suffer from rodent poisoning! Predators like owls, foxes, hawks—and even pet cats and dogs— can become poisoned when they eat animals that are sick or dead from poison. For bobcats, secondary poisoning can have a strange effect. A bobcat who eats poisoned rats and mice will suffer from constantContinue reading “Rat Poison Causes Mange in Bobcats”

Raccoons Eating Birdseed: What to Do

We’ve heard people give a lot of crazy and cruel excuses for killing wild animals, but perhaps the most upsetting reason we’ve heard is, “It was eating my birdseed.” Several of our patients last year were orphans who came to us because the mothers had inconvenienced someone by nibbling some sunflower seeds. Folks, this simplyContinue reading “Raccoons Eating Birdseed: What to Do”