Wild animals are clearly not the most intelligent.
Squirrels run in front of cars. Birds hit windows. Rabbits eat toxic plants.
But what can someone do if they see an injured or sick wild animal that requires medical attention?
The Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center apart of Penitentiary Glen Reservation located in Kirtland, Ohio, offers a solution: wild animal rehabilitation.
The center accepts almost any animal, except for a limited list consisting of invasive species, non-native Ohio species and larger mammals.
The invasive species include English house sparrows, mute swans, European starlings and pigeons. Larger mammals include coyotes, deer, skunks and raccoons due to fear of spreading rabies.
The center asks for injured animals to be put in a box or pet carrier where they can be kept warm and quiet. Once brought to the center, animals will receive a full medical exam and professional treatment.
To make the rehab service more accessible, animals injured past the business hours of 9 am and 5 pm can be put in drop-off cages located in front of the center.
People can check on the dropped off animal using a case number assigned to the animal by calling the center.
Certain rare species including a bald eagle, red fox and a range of hawks found rehab through the center and now call it home due to an inability to return to the wild.
The center also includes information regarding what to do if a baby wild animal is found and how to determine if it is abandoned or lost.
If the baby is found in a dangerous location or matching one of the following:
- Bleeding, has an open wound or has a broken bone
- Covered in fly eggs
- Crying for more than one day
- Weak and lying on its side
- Attacked by a pet
The baby needs medical attention immediately and should be brought to the center.
If the baby is found alone and not in a dangerous location, leave the baby alone. Mothers usually return and move the baby to a different location.
To avoid bringing predators to the abandoned baby, people should not spend time with the animal. Some young are born scentless and predators could be attracted to the area.
The center encourages people to never:
- Chase a baby animal to catch it. Stress can lead to damage to internal organs or death
- Give food or water to injured or orphaned wildlife. Incorrect food can lead to illness.
- Keep the injured or sick animal. Each animal requires specific nutrition, housing and handling.
Additional info can be found by calling the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center at 440-256-1404 or visiting their website at http://www.lakemetroparks.com/parks-trails/penitentiary-glen-reservation/kevin-p-clinton-wildlife-center