Why Vaccinate Wildlife?

“Why vaccinate wildlife?” This is a question we hear a lot, and it’s fair enough. After all, animals don’t get vaccines in the wild. We like to put it this way: imagine a pandemic that is nearly 100% fatal and is as contagious as the common cold. Imagine it is contagious for about a weekContinue reading “Why Vaccinate Wildlife?”

Raccoons and Brain Worms

Wild animals are beautiful, majestic, important, sentient, and, sometimes, really freaking gross. So let’s talk about one of the most horrifying examples of what can happen when you don’t give wild animals the space and respect they deserve: brain worms! 70-90% of raccoons carry a roundworm in their guts called Baylisascaris procyonis, but that’s aContinue reading “Raccoons and Brain Worms”

Relocating Wildlife Spreads Disease

Please, please stop relocating wildlife. Arya’s mother’s story is one of many that we hope will convince people to stop moving wild animals around. Arya came to us a couple of weeks ago after her mother had been “humanely relocated” after ending up in someone’s attic. Within two days of admission, she began to developContinue reading “Relocating Wildlife Spreads Disease”

These Animals Don’t Dig Burrows!

No animal deserves to die for doing what comes naturally to it, but it’s especially upsetting when animals are killed for something they don’t actually do. Cottontail rabbits, raccoons, opossums, and tree squirrels all get killed routinely by people worried that they will dig burrows in their lawns. European rabbits dig burrows, so many peopleContinue reading “These Animals Don’t Dig Burrows!”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Do Raccoons Hibernate?

Raccoons right now are going through many changes to prepare for winter. They’re becoming much more crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) rather than strictly nocturnal and are developing a strong instinct to forage on high-fat foods and seek shelters. All these changes prepare them “Diet Hibernation,” known more scientifically as torpor. Torpor differs fromContinue reading “Do Raccoons Hibernate?”