What to do with orphaned or injured wildlife

Andy at Outerbanks Wildlife Shelter
Andy at Outerbanks Wildlife Shelter

Wendy Card of New Bern Now

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission recommends, “If you have found a wild animal, the best thing you can do is leave it alone or put it back where it was found. If you are truly concerned that the animal is injured or orphaned, but not sure…certain species of wildlife cannot be rehabilitated in North Carolina. These species include adult white-tailed deer, adult black bear, coyote, nutria, and feral swine. For severely injured white-tailed deer or black bear contact the NC Wildlife Helpline at 866-318-2401 (Mon – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or the Wildlife Enforcement Division at 800-662-7137 outside of business hours…If you come across injured or orphaned small animals or birds, call a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator.”

That sounds pretty easy, but there’s a problem. The wildlife shelters don’t make house calls. You must handle the animal or bird and deliver it to the wildlife rescue organization.

Laura and Bird
Laura with injured and orphaned grackle fledgling

This comes from firsthand knowledge. This weekend Laura and I saw an injured fledgling bird in the road in our neighborhood. We weren’t sure if one of the many feral cats got a hold of it, but It couldn’t fly or move very fast because I was able to catch it (with gloves on). After searching for a nearby nest, I placed it in the holly bush and called the Outerbanks Wildlife Shelter (OWLS). They told me to bring it to them. We boxed him up and I drove to their shelter located at 100 Wildlife Way in Newport, NC.

Andy greeted me and confirmed that it’s a young grackle. I was relieved to hear it was probably going to make a full recovery! They work hard feeding and treating the wildlife 24/7. Please consider donating to OWLS if you can. For more information, call 252-240-1200. They are the closest rehabber, and their services are very important.

Outerbanks Wildlife Shelter

If you have a similar encounter or if you have squirrels in your attic like my friend, George, there are professionals who can help you with your predicament. Here are some local businesses who can help:

– Team NC Wildlife Control 252-626-5191

– Carolina Wildlife Solutions 252-474-4240

If you’re aware of other local wildlife control businesses, email us with the details, and we’ll add them to the list. We’d also like to hear your thoughts.