Don’t Fear Owls

It’s funny how, every few years, a different animal will become the target of panic and fear, and people will become convinced that the species is a hazard that needs to be killed or relocated. For the last few years, owls have been a surprising focus of hate and fear. As with most other panicsContinue reading “Don’t Fear Owls”

Botflies: Why Lumpy Squirrels Don’t Need Help

Rehabbers get a lot of calls about lumpy squirrels, especially in summer! There are two common causes of lumps on squirrels: squirrelpox, a viral infection we’ll discuss in a separate post, and botflies, which are insects that develop in animals’ skin in the larval stage. When people find lumpy squirrels, they almost always feel thatContinue reading “Botflies: Why Lumpy Squirrels Don’t Need Help”

Botflies: Why Lumpy Squirrels Don’t Need Help

Rehabbers get a lot of calls about lumpy squirrels, especially in summer! There are two common causes of lumps on squirrels: squirrelpox, a viral infection we’ll discuss in a separate post, and botflies, which are insects that develop in animals’ skin in the larval stage. When people find lumpy squirrels, they almost always feel thatContinue reading “Botflies: Why Lumpy Squirrels Don’t Need Help”

Don’t Feed Corn to Wild Animals

Please be careful about where your good intentions lead! Especially around this time of year, a lot of people will feed wildlife to try to help them prepare for winter. Because corn is cheap and is readily eaten by most mammals, it’s a common choice for supplemental food. Native wild animals don’t need our helpContinue reading “Don’t Feed Corn to Wild Animals”

Rethinking Tennessee’s Prairie Wolf

We think it’s way past time to rethink how people view coyotes in the Southeast. Often maligned and viewed as an invasive nuisance, they’re actually a critical part of our ecosystem just like their closely related predecessors, the red wolves. It’s nothing new for a closely related animal to fill in the gaps left whenContinue reading “Rethinking Tennessee’s Prairie Wolf”

Why Red Foxes are Red

To human eyes, a red fox’s flame-colored fur stands out starkly against vegetation, but— believe it or not!— red foxes actually evolved their characteristic coats as camouflage. Animals aren’t capable of producing green pigment. Animals that appear green actually depend on structural coloration, or the use of microscopic physical traits to reflect green light. Scales,Continue reading “Why Red Foxes are Red”

Smiling Opossums: Scared, Not Happy

You know all those adorable memes, showing opossums “smiling” while being handled? It’s common for people who find orphaned or injured opossums to project that the animal knows it’s being helped or is happy to be cuddled and pet. Some unethical exhibitors will even distribute photos of smiling opossums as evidence that they love toContinue reading “Smiling Opossums: Scared, Not Happy”

Don’t Leave Medicine for Sick Wildlife

Have you ever heard of a doctor treating disease this way? When a doctor is in the mall and sees somebody coughing and sneezing, they don’t come back and leave a bowl of candy laced with Tamiflu. That would be a bad idea for a number of reasons. The doctor can’t make a diagnosis fromContinue reading “Don’t Leave Medicine for Sick Wildlife”