Critter Cam

Now Livestreaming: Eastern Box 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

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

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

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

Want to help provide food, medicine, and equipment for nearly 2,000 wildlife patients every year? You can make a gift online.