Critter Cam

Now Livestreaming: Midland Painted Turtle

The University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic—a non-profit organization that provides care and treatment to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals—will feature a different patient each week on the Critter Cam.

Caption and video don’t match? Well, situations can change pretty fast in the Wildlife Medical Clinic, so we can’t always keep our Critter Cam page information accurate up to the minute. If we say the camera is on something furry, and you see feathers, give us time to catch up!

Current Patient: Midland Painted Turtle

This midland painted turtle presented to the clinic on June 1st after being hit by a car and found in the road. Upon initial exam, a shell fracture of the top portion of the shell (the carapace) was noted. Radiographs were obtained of the patient, and the patient was then put under anesthesia to repair the shell. If you look closely, you can see some colorful zip ties on the top portion of the shell, which are being utilized with epoxy to hold the fractured pieces together while this patient heals. Turtles tend to heal much slower than our mammal and avian patients, so this patient will be in clinic with us for a bit longer to allow for proper healing before being released back into the wild! Watch along as this patient enjoys swimming and basking in his enclosure.

To support this animal’s care, and that of other patients of the Wildlife Medical Clinic, visit our giving page at Wildlife Giving

Previously Featured

Red-Tailed Hawk

Update: Unfortunately, this patient refractured its wing and had to be humanely euthanized due to a poor prognosis.

This red tailed hawk presented to us on 10/24 after being found unable to fly. After taking radiographs, a right humeral fracture was appreciated and this patient was brought to surgery on 10/28. The surgery was successful, and now we are completing physical therapy and making sure this patient’s pain level is adequately managed. Our plan is to make sure the wing can be used for flight before transferring to a certified wildlife rehabilitator for the winter.

Virginia Opossum

Update: Unfortunately, this patient was humanely euthanized due to her respiratory problems not improving leading to a poor prognosis.

This patient is an adult Virginia opossum that presented to our clinic after being found weak and dehydrated. She has a couple wounds and some bruising around her pouch. She is receiving medications to support her and a quiet place to heal. We hope to get her back to health so we can release her back into the wild where she belongs!

Barred Owl

Update: This owl was transferred to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for continued care!

This patient is an adult barred owl that presented on August 30th after being found unable to fly in Decatur, Illinois. After working this patient up and obtaining radiographs, a left coracoid fracture was appreciated. This is one of the main bones in the flight apparatus that helps birds to fly. This patient has been with us for a few weeks already, and will hopefully go to a certified wildlife rehabilitator soon where they can continue to stretch their wings before being released.

Eastern Box Turtle

Update: This turtle was successfully treated and released back into the wild where she belongs!

This is an eastern box turtle that presented on 8/11 after being found close to the side of the road in Decatur, IL. This patient had severe ocular discharge and an aural abscess that has since been removed. As of now, we are monitoring the patient and administering a course of antibiotics until we are able to release them back into the wild when their ear is healed.

Cooper’s Hawk

Update: This patient’s ulnar fracture was successfully repaired via surgery on 7/29. Since then, the patient was moved outside to our outdoor flight cages. We are unable to move our camera outside because our flight cages do not have internet connection or electricity. This patient will be going to a rehabilitator to continue to heal by the end of August!

This patient presented to us on July 26th for being unable to fly. After taking radiographs, we were able to visualize a right ulna fracture. This patient was taken to surgery on July 29th, and the fracture was successfully stabilized with an intramedullary pin, a few cross pins, and an external fixator. You may see the patient with his wing in a bandage – that is the affected wing! We will be making sure this patient is pain free until the bone is stable, and then the patient will be sent to a certified wildlife rehabilitator to continue to heal.

–Chloe Dupleix, Class of 2024

Purple Martin

Update: This patient was transferred to a rehabilitator for continued care!

Check out a Purple Martin on the critter cam! We are suspecting this bird to have experienced some sort of trauma. Watch this patient perch and heal during its time with us!

–Chloe Dupleix, Class of 2024

Red Shouldered Hawk

Update: Unfortunately, the hawk was euthanized due to the severity of his injuries.

This young Red-Shouldered Hawk came to the WMC on 7/17 after being found on the side of the road. Upon physical exam, we found superficial wounds & some mobility issues with his legs. Right now, we are treating him to keep him comfortable and give him time to heal. You can see him resting in his towel nest when he is not being handled for treatments or eating!

–Danielle Money, Class of 2024

Snapping Turtle

Update: The fish hook was removed and healed well so this patient was released back into the wild on 7/16!

This is an adult snapping turtle that presented on July 11th for having a fishing hook caught in its mouth. We will be performing radiographs and assessing the patient further on July 12th with hopes of removing the hook and releasing the patient as soon as we are able to. 

–Chloe Dupleix, Class of 2024

Snapping Turtle

Update: Upon further examination, this patient was found to have an irreparable spinal fracture and was humanely euthanized. 

This adult snapping turtle presented to the clinic on 6/26 after being found on the side of the road, likely hit by a car. A large wound was noted on the top of his shell, with a few smaller wounds around his head. We placed a drain over the shell wound to promote healing, which will be monitored during his stay! During his healing process, you can watch him bask in his heat or enjoy his daily soaks. Once the wound is healed, he will be returned to the wild where he belongs!

–Brianna Huff, Class of 2025

Cooper’s Hawk

Update: After spending some time at the clinic, this young hawk was transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator.

This fledgling Cooper’s Hawk presented to us for being unable to fly. He had a few superficial wounds on his wings and a slightly deeper wound on his leg. We placed a few sutures in the wound on his leg and are monitoring it while it heals!

–Danielle Money, Class of 2024

Great Blue Heron

Update: After we rechecked radiographs for the Heron, it was found the bone was not healing and had become necrotic so humane euthanasia was elected.

This young of year great blue heron presented to the clinic on June 8th after being found unable to fly. We performed radiographs the same day and found a right humeral fracture. Surgery was performed two days later, and an intramedullary pin was placed in the bone along with a few cross pins. You may see some of this hardware when checking in on this patient. We are currently giving him lots of fish and trying to get him to heal so he can return to the wild where he belongs!

–Chloe Dupleix, Class of 2024

Cedar Waxwing

Update: Unfortunately, this cedar waxwing was found dead in the cage on 6/22.

This adult cedar waxwing came to the clinic on May 31st after being found unable to fly. We were able to perform radiographs that day and found the patient has a left fractured radius. You may see the patient with a piece of tape around it’s left wing. This is to help stabilize the fracture that we found. We hope to keep this patient for a little while longer to monitor for improvement and then transfer this patient to a certified wildlife rehabilitator.

–Chloe Dupleix, Class of 2024

Mallard Ducklings

Update: All 18 ducks have been transferred to a certified wildlife rehabilitator! Please refer to the list of rehabbers on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website in the event you too have stumbled upon a group of orphaned ducklings.

These 18 Mallard ducklings presented to the WMC after being found alone when mom was unfortunately found dead. They will stay here until we can transfer them to a rehabilitator for continued care.

–Danielle Money, Class of 2024

Canada Goose

Update: The Canada gosling was released after his treatments.

This juvenile Canada goose presented to WMC after being found unable to walk. After our exam, we found a soft tissue injury to his foot. We are treating him here until he is healed and ready to be released! Now, you can watch him eat his food and splash around his enclosure!

–Danielle Money, Class of 2024

Eastern Box Turtle with feeding tube in enclosure

Eastern Box Turtle

Update: The eastern box turtle that presented to us in October stayed with us until this spring after all of her treatments. She was successfully released back into the wild in May.

This is a female eastern box turtle presented to us in October for possible blindness. After our treatments, her eye has healed and we determined she has full vision. Turtles hibernate during the winter months, so we decided that it would be best to treat her and keep her in our clinic until the spring! This is to ensure she has an easy and successful return back into the wild. Whenever she is handled by our students, she is brought outside to roam around in preparation for her release. Her favorite activities include digging around in her enclosure and snacking on some earthworms!

–Kami Grochowski, Class of 2025

Snowy Owl held by wildlife clinic volunteer

Snowy Owl

Update: The snowy owl has been transferred to wildlife rehabilitator

This is an adult snowy owl that presented to the clinic on February 28th for being unable to fly. During her physical exam, it was found that her left wing had a fractured radius. She has since undergone surgery and is healing well. You can see her perching most of the time and occasionally eating her daily meal.

–Chloe Dupleix, Class of 2024

Pelican next to a kids swimming pool


Update: The pelican has been transferred to another facility

This is an adult male pelican that came to the clinic on December 4, 2021. The distal portion of the right wing has been naturally amputated and this patient is otherwise healthy. He can be seen walking around his enclosure and the back area of the wildlife clinic while he is given some roaming time. He loves eating his daily amount of fish and enjoys fishing live goldfish out of the pool seen to the right of his enclosure. We are currently waiting for him to be transferred to a permanent facility.

–Chloe Dupleix, Class of 2024

Eastern Box Turtle

Update: The turtle was euthanized due to a poor prognosis

This eastern box turtle was brought to the clinic October 5th. She was found on the side of the road, suspect hit by car. There is a large fracture of the top shell, the bridge of her shell, and of her top beak. She has undergone two fracture repair procedures to address these problems. She also is not eating so we placed a feeding tube to help support her (which you can see attached to to top of her shell). This girl has a long way to go in the healing process, but she is doing everything we can ask of her and is often seen walking around her tub.

–Alexis Davidson, Class of 2023

This baby great horned owl was found on the ground at a local golf course. Due to his small size and abundance of fluff, he was brought to us. He appeared to be a healthy fledgling with the exception of a twig about 4 inches long that had penetrated his left wing. Luckily, the twig was not near any nerves or blood vessels and was easily removed. We hope this little cutie makes a full recovery after some rest and recuperation. Then he can be transferred to a rehabilitator and eventually released when he is old enough!

–Rebecca Berton, Class of 2023

Update: Unfortunately, this patient died.

This eastern screech owl was brought to the Wildlife Medical Clinic on March 3 after being found near Danville, Ill., with a left wing injury. During our intake exam, we didn’t find any fractures in either wing, so we believe it’s likely a soft tissue injury that is causing a left wing droop and causing this bird to hold its wings out asymmetrically when trying to fly. For the time being, we are giving this little screech owl plenty of cage rest, TLC, and medication to keep him comfortable so any soft tissue injuries have time to heal.

– Natalie Zimmerman, Class of 2022

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Update: This hawk has been transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator to ensure that he can fly and hunt well enough to be released back to the wild soon!

This red-shouldered hawk presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic on January 11 with a potentially injured wing. On exam, we noted some pain on extension of the right shoulder and some ataxia (or uncoordination). We did some radiographs (x-rays) to determine if there were any abnormalities. The patient did not show any significant changes on radiographs and was started on anti-inflammatory medication to reduce any swelling in the brain/spinal cord that could be causing the ataxia. After a week, this bird is looking much better; perching on his own and eating like a champion! We have discontinued his medication so that we may monitor his progress without medicaton to determine whether he is ready to transfer to a rehabilitation facility.

-Rebecca Berton, Class of 2023

Eastern Screech Owl

Update: The screech owl was transferred to a rehabilitator.

This eastern screech owl (Megascops asio) presented to our clinic on November 22 for a traumatic injury to its left eye. We were able to perform an evisceration surgery of the injured eye on December 2 to remove the unhealthy tissue. An evisceration allows us to safely remove the superficial structures of the eye, while leaving the posterior (further toward the back or deeper) structures of the eye intact. This is an important procedure to perform on owls, as the posterior structures of the eye are essential for the overall structure of their skull. We are confident that this bird of prey will do well in the wild with only one eye, because owls use hearing to hunt, not vision. There have been reports of one-eyed owls surviving without any deficits. This brave little owl is doing great post-surgery. It enjoys lots of food each day and loves hopping around its cage when awake! We hope to soon transfer this animal to a rehabilitator to finish its recovery and learn how to be an owl before being returned to the wild.

–Rebecca Berton, Class of 2023

Northern Saw-Whet Owl

Update: Unfortunately, our northern saw-whet owl succumbed to his illness despite our best efforts.

This northern saw-whet owl was found on a farm unable to fly and was brought to our clinic on November 23. After a physical exam, it was clear that the patient’s right wing was injured. After some x-rays were taken, we determined the wing was not broken and the injury is now assumed to be soft tissue or nerve related. Our little saw-whet is now on cage rest and some anti-inflammatories to help heal its little wing! Fun fact – Northern saw-whets have a distinct call that is said to be similar to a saw being sharpened on a whetting stone – which leads to its name!

–Cassie Hill, Class of 2022

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