Let’s Talk About Cages.

“It’s so sad to see them in cages.” This is a comment we see frequently, even from those who strongly support our organization and mission. We understand! Wild animals look happiest and most beautiful when they’re running through fields and drowsing in tree tops. Large zoos are able to use painted backgrounds, glass enclosures, electrifiedContinue reading “Let’s Talk About Cages.”

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”

Opossums: Nature’s Savants

You may have read about (or met) people with savant syndrome. Formerly called “idiot savants,” people with savant syndrome have significant learning disabilities but also display exceptional intelligence at times, often to the shock of those who underestimate them. Opossums are the natural world’s own example of savant syndrome! If you were to look atContinue reading “Opossums: Nature’s Savants”

Trees Don’t Litter

If you’d ever seen how quickly our raccoon patients can devour twenty pounds of acorns or forage through six inches of fallen leaves for bugs, you’d understand exactly why there’s no need to “clean up” the gifts trees leave us in autumn! Many native animals in our area cannot survive winter without the bounty ofContinue reading “Trees Don’t Litter”

Cross Fox or Red Fox? How to Tell

Cross foxes and grey foxes are easily confused! The description of “grey with a red outline” applies to both, but they’re actually completely different species (both of which occur naturally here in Southeast Tennessee). The cross fox is actually a red fox, the species most people are familiar with. When a red fox carries genesContinue reading “Cross Fox or Red Fox? How to Tell”

Canine Distemper in Raccoons: What You Need to Know

Yikes, the zombie apocalypse is upon us! Humans aren’t the only animals who experience pandemics. In recent decades, racccoons and many other wild animals have been massively afflicted with canine distemper, an extremely contagious virus that passed to wildlife through unvaccinated dogs. We saw lower-than-average rates of canine distemper in wild raccoons this year, butContinue reading “Canine Distemper in Raccoons: What You Need to Know”

That Friendly Animal May Not Be Your Reincarnated Loved One

Ok here’s what I wrote and it will go live tomorrow. Thank you guys! The world works in mysterious ways, and people can find messages hidden in anything. Grief is painful, and it’s only human nature to look for signs that our loved ones are still with us. Sometimes we come across animals in ourContinue reading “That Friendly Animal May Not Be Your Reincarnated Loved One”