Keeping Wildlife in Mind This Independence Day

By Samantha Sander, DVM, Dipl ACZM

As the Fourth of July draws closer, many communities are actively preparing for their annual festivities. Patriotic fanfare coupled with the shimmering lights and booming explosions of fireworks are honored traditions often synonymous with Independence Day celebrations. Unfortunately, these celebrations can be quite harmful to local wildlife.

Fireworks in particular can be hazardous, startling any number of species to display abnormal behaviors and movements. Wildlife have been documented fleeing into public spaces and across roadways, flying into buildings or other obstacles, and abandoning nests as well as their young. This extreme flight response can cause injury and death, increased exposure of young to predators, and a stress response so severe it can cause death to the animal. Fireworks and firecrackers have also been blamed as a source of litter, which can be a choking hazard and toxic if ingested, as well as starting wildfires, which can cause extreme habitat destruction in some cases. These extreme responses aren’t unique to wildlife – fireworks celebrations have triggered PTSD episodes in people, overwhelmed individuals with sensory sensitivities, and are associated with a marked increase in runaway pets each year. Continue reading

Wildlife Medical Clinic Preparing to Re-Open May 18

Although the coronavirus pandemic caused the Wildlife Medical Clinic to close its doors to wildlife patients for the first time in our 42-year history, the good news is, we have been very active during the closure, caring for our ambassadors and remaining patients as well as delivering training remotely to a new group of student volunteers.

And the great news is, we will be ready to accept patients again on Monday, May 18, 2020! Continue reading