Category: Wildlife Emergencies

I found a baby skunk! What now?

You look out your window and see a litter of skunk kits running around with no parent to be seen. What’s next? Kits without their mother aren’t necessarily orphaned or injured. However, unlike some animals, skunks are typically attentive parents who don’t leave their…

Don’t Kidnap Fox Kits!

Red fox parents work around the clock to find food for themselves and their kits. Because of this, a litter of fox kits might be left alone for several hours at a time while their parents are away. If you find a baby fox,…

Capture Myopathy: The Risks of Picking Up Wildlife

Wild animals— particularly rabbits, fawns, and birds— are prone to a condition called capture myopathy. This is a complex disorder that results from the stress of being chased, captured, or even simply held by a human being. Although there are usually no signs of…

Why Won’t Rehabbers Answer Me?

It’s terrifying to have a wild animal in need of help, but to be unable to reach someone who can provide the care it needs. It’s no wonder that people sometimes get frustrated and even infuriated with wildlife rehabilitators, who might take hours or…

Found a Baby Bird? Don’t Feed It!

Found a baby bird on the ground? Your first impulse is probably to feed it, especially if it’s gaping and crying out in hunger. But this is one of the worst things you can do. Feeding a baby that is dehydrated or hypothermic can…

I Found a Rabid Raccoon! Help!

“Help! I found a rabid raccoon!” This is one of the most frequent— and panicked— calls we receive in wildlife rehabilitation. If it happens to you, here’s what to do: -First, stay calm. The animal probably isn’t actually rabid. Raccoons can be awake in…

Moving a Turtle: a Death Sentence

People will often try to help an Eastern box turtle by taking it to an area with less traffic or more vegetation. This is one of the worst things you can do for a turtle. Box turtles have small territories no more than a…

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….

Why We Only Rescue Tennessee Wildlife

Since Chattanooga sits on the state line, our local rehabbers often get calls about animals from outside the state. I can advise about wildlife first-aid, help identify unknown critters, and help find solutions for people who want to humanly repel “nuisance” animals, regardless of…

Hit an Animal? See if it survived.

This summer, I took several calls from people who had seen an animal lift its head or weakly stand up, after several of lying beside the road after being hit by traffic. In all of these cases, the animal had to be euthanized, although…