The Ark is passionate about wildlife.

It is our goal to be a safety net for injured, orphaned or ill wildlife.  Orphans are raised with others of their kind so that they can be released with a well established sense of their wild origins, the 'language' of their species, and to avoid bonding with their human caregivers.

Injured or ill wildlife receives compassionate and competent medical assistance from the wonderful veterinarians who partner with The Ark and then they come to stay with us until they are ready and able to safely return to their wild lives.

Alert -  Because of Fish and Wildlife regulations we are no longer able to take in any Muscovy ducks or ducklings. Muscovy are not a native species and are therefore not supposed to be released back into the wild. It does present a quandary for us, but we need to follow the guidelines to keep our permits. If you find any you can call for advice to help them, but due to the above stated reasons and the high numbers, we can no longer take them into rehab.

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What is wildlife rehabilitation?

Wildlife rehabilitation involves caring for ill, orphaned and injured wild animals with the goal of returning them to their natural habitat.


Why is wildlife rehabilitation important?

  • to help animals that were adversely affected by human interference

  • to saves the lives of young animals that would not be able to care for themselves

  • to relieve pain and suffering for animals after traumatic injuries or those that are beyond the ability to recover

  • to use as environmental indicators for things such as disease transmission, environmental toxicities, effects of habitat destruction

  • to helps conserve threatened and endangered species


The Wildlife Rehabilitation Process

1 - Admission & Initial Assessment

  • Determine if the animal really needs our intervention

  • If a healthy orphan, try reuniting strategies to return them to their mother

  • Physical exam and medical care is made possible by local veterinary hospitals who offer their services free of charge to help us assist wildlife in need.

2 - Treatment

  • Begin rehydration with fluid therapy

  • Create care plan to address animal’s reason for admission

    • Warmth and feeding of healthy orphans

    • Wound care of soft tissue injuries

    • Feeding protocols for starving animals

3 - Conditioning & Acclimation

  • Move to larger, outdoor caging

    • Allows for acclimation to current weather conditions

    • Encourages the animal to exercise to regain the stamina they need for life in the wild 

4 - Release

  • Animals must be completely self-sufficient

    • Displays fear of predators, including humans

    • Knows how and is able to find food

    • Displays normal behavior:  birds can fly, squirrels can climb, ducks can swim, etc

  • Selection of release location and day

    • Many factors to take into consideration

      • Weather and season

        • Aim for 3 consecutive days of favorable weather 

        • For migrating birds, are the rest of the species still in the area or have they already left on migration?

        • For species that cache food for the winter like squirrels, do they have enough time to do so before winter?

      • Some species, such as birds of prey, are released in the same location they were found

        • They have a home territory and are familiar with sources of food

        • Monogamous species may have a mate waiting for their return

      • Is the location a suitable habitat and safe for the animal?

        • Is the appropriate food plentiful?

        • Is there already an abundance of this species at the location?

        • Are there other dangers to the animal such as automobile traffic, dense human population and hunting?