Winter Preparations Can Help Wildlife

rabbit in snow

Winter is coming, and wildlife animals are preparing. Each species handles the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter differently; some animals hibernate, some animals migrate, and some animals adapt to the climate around them.

Human intervention may not be necessary but it will certainly help our wildlife when winter draws near. Taking these steps will prevent injury and increase their chances of survival.

Migration is an important journey for many species of not only birds but mammals as well. Birds generally migrate in the fall to places where the weather is warmer or they can find food. Species we see migrating through Illinois include the Canada goose, sandhill cranes, broad-winged hawks, warblers, hummingbirds, and several species of ducks. Other animals that migrate include snakes, insects such as butterflies, and in other parts of the world you may see elk migrating.

  • During this time, birds are susceptible to injury. Many are injured by flying into windows, a common presentation in the Wildlife Medical Clinic. You can help wildlife avoid these injuries by adjusting their windows to be less reflective. This can be achieved by placing decal stickers on the window or arranging tape in an irregular pattern. There are also non-reflective screens or transparent films that may be purchased to protect these birds.

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Team Saves Turtle Hit by Car


A red-eared slider turtle was presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic after being hit by a car. Upon a visual exam, there was an obvious shell fracture on the right side and trauma to the right eye. A full physical exam did not reveal any more issues that needed to be addressed. Fractures are serious but the eye injury was of grave concern.

The first step in the turtle’s recovery was taking care of its injuries. The wounds were cleaned and bandaged, and the turtle’s condition was stabilized. The turtle was placed on buprenorphine for pain management and ceftazidime (an antibiotic) to control infection of the wounds.

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Road Race for Animals!

Omega Tau Sigma, the professional veterinary student fraternity, is proud to host the 24th annual 5K Road Race for Animals. The run/walk serves to promote the health of our community and to celebrate the human-animal bond. Proceeds benefit the Wildlife Medical Clinic, a non-profit veterinary student run clinic that accepts ill, injured, or orphaned wildlife. This year, we are also benefiting the Midwest Animal Rescue Service of Illinois, a no-kill shelter that rescues animals from hazardous situations including neglect, puppy mills, and natural disasters. Currently MARS is helping animals affected by hurricane Harvey.
This charity race is open to the public and welcomes runners and their canine exercise companions. Register here!
This charity race is open to the public and welcomes runners and their canine exercise companions. Register here!  See the Facebook Event Page here.