steals the water...
Will you save this baby fox?Learn More
Orphaned, injured or ailing animals a year
Without warning, crisis can strike. That’s why we need dedicated wildlife lovers to join our team of First Responders — our special group of monthly donors who ensure that every animal who comes to WildCare is healed and released back into the wild.
It doesn’t take a tornado to tear a little nest from a tree. Gusty winds from spring storms put newborns in grave danger.
Whenever heavy winds are forecast, our medical staff is on alert. So we were ready for a rescuer who spotted a nest blown from a tree. Inside were three eyes-closed squirrels — too young even to have fur.
As soon as they arrived, we warmed their little bodies with heated hand towels. This soothing dry heat raised the babies’ body temperature and provided quick comfort.
After determining they were generally healthy, we gave them subcutaneous fluids and oral solutions to keep them hydrated while making plans to reunite them with their mother — always the preferred option.
Sadly, reunification wasn’t possible so we raised them and taught them to fend for themselves before releasing them back into the wild. The process took months but, thanks to the steady support of our monthly donors, was completely successful!
Here in Northern California, we think of droughts as slow-moving disasters. No part of nature is untouched as water and food disappear. This scarcity often brings wildlife into contact with humans — sometimes with disastrous consequences.
In September of 2016, at the height of a 4-year drought, a coyote wandered onto a freeway — perhaps searching for greener pastures. He never got there. A car hit him and left him limping, disoriented and terrified.
The young male coyote was found cowering in bushes by an animal control officer who brought him to WildCare. Our examinations determined the coyote had abrasions and swelling, but nothing was broken. And he was very thirsty and hungry.
Within weeks, having taken full advantage of the food and water we offered him, he recovered. As soon as he had proven he could run and leap, we took him to an open space (a distance from the freeway, but still within his home territory) and set him free.
It came without warning, with no time to prepare — a tsunami of orphaned opossums!
Why do we depend on First Responders, our monthly donors? Because they help us be ready to handle whatever comes through our door. In May of 2018, we drew heavily on this support as, every time we turned around, someone was bringing more baby opossums.
At one point our Opossum Foster Care Team was looking after 33 babies! Their mothers could have been hit by cars or even attacked by dogs or other animals.
Many people, when they see a dead opossum, wisely check to see if the animal is a female with babies in her pouch — there can be up to 10! And when they make it to WildCare, each little orphan needs at least two months of care before she can live on her own.
Before long, they were ready to be released to live the lives their mothers wanted them to have.
It was dark. The woman’s headlights lit just as far as the next turn on the road. She couldn’t see what she hit ... but she felt it.
After immediately pulling over, the Fairfax resident discovered a tiny fawn was trapped between the wheels. Without hesitation, the woman converted her car to a kind of ambulance and rushed to WildCare.
Our medical staff quickly determined that the fawn had a small injury to her eyelid, but surprisingly, was otherwise fine!
We treated her eye, kept her warm and taught her to suckle formula from a bottle. She had no internal injuries and the spotted baby seemed to think her biggest problem was getting enough formula.
After spending a few months in foster care, she was returned to the wild life she was meant for — hopefully a little wiser about the dangers of crossing a road!