Will a Mother Animal Abandon a Handled Baby?

You should never handle a wild animal because it stresses them and can spread disease, but it’s entirely a myth that a mother will abandon her young because of unfamiliar smells. This is not true of any animal species. If you, or a child, already handled a baby animal and it is not hurt orContinue reading “Will a Mother Animal Abandon a Handled Baby?”

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 where the call comes from. But to actually accept an animalContinue reading “Why We Only Rescue Tennessee Wildlife”

We Want Them to Hate Us

One of the beautiful things I’ve seen among wildlife rehabilitators, is the deep, selfless respect for the wildness of wildlife. Although it can feel bittersweet when an animal you’ve raised from infancy snarls and bristles and hides from you, it’s also a sign of rehabilitation done right. The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is not toContinue reading “We Want Them to Hate Us”

No Safe Litter

We’ve all done it at some point: tossed a banana peel, apple core, or sandwich crust out of our car windows. Many people believe this is safe because food scraps are biodegradable. Unfortunately, food waste has become a leading cause of death for wildlife. When you toss food out the window, it attracts hungry animalsContinue reading “No Safe Litter”

“Can I Keep This Skunk?” NO!

Skunks are smart, cute, and sensitive. It’s no surprise that some people are tempted to keep them as pets. This is a bad idea anywhere, but here in Tennessee, it’s actually illegal as well. Skunks are one of the most common carriers for rabies and may not show symptoms at first, so rescuing a babyContinue reading ““Can I Keep This Skunk?” NO!”

Why Don’t You Care About People?

“Why do you care about animals when there are so many people in need?” It’s a common, but baffling, criticism that wildlife rehabilitators and other animal rescuers often hear. Most people are capable of caring about more than one thing. Although I’m sure there’s some nutcase, among the seven billion people on Earth, who actuallyContinue reading “Why Don’t You Care About People?”

Cats Hunting Wildlife Isn’t Nature

House cats are the domesticated descendants of the African wildcat (Felis sylvestris lybica). Our native cats, here in the Southeastern United States, are bobcats and pumas. These animals hunt to survive, not for sport, and their natural prey is well-adapted to survive their predation. The Southern U.S. ecosystem is NOT adapted to handle the massiveContinue reading “Cats Hunting Wildlife Isn’t Nature”