The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented nearly 60,000 cases of tickborne disease within the United States in 2018. Tick populations have been rising, resulting in an increased spread of tickborne illness, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
With the return of warm weather, there is one unsung hero of the animal kingdom that helps keep the environmental tick levels down. The humble Virginia opossum, America’s only marsupial, kills nearly 95% of ticks that cross their path. It is estimated that a single opossum is capable of eating an estimated 5,000 ticks every season!
Boneyard Creek Community Day is an event held one Saturday every April in Scott Park in Champaign. The purpose of this day is to “promote appreciation, stewardship, and naturalizing of our local stream corridors.” 2019 was the 14th year that community volunteers joined together to clean litter throughout Boneyard Creek and its surrounding parks. Members of the Wildlife Medical Clinic took a few hours out of their Saturday morning to dedicate time to cleaning these gorgeous parks! Continue reading
By: Monika Liszka, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2022
In 2018, the Wildlife Medical Clinic cared for 33 turtles, including Eastern box turtles, red-eared sliders, painted turtles, Northern map turtles, river cooters, and snapping turtles. As the spring weather brings warmer temperatures, the Wildlife Medical Clinic sees a noticeable increase in turtle patients. This isn’t surprising, as these animals had been bromating (hibernating) throughout the colder months and are now becoming active again. Unfortunately, many of these patients arrive at the Clinic injured after being hit by a car. You might think to yourself, why would a turtle leave a nice pond and try to cross a busy street? Continue reading