One of the unique experiences while attending veterinary school at the University of Illinois is the opportunity to engage with the Wildlife Medical Clinic (WMC). All of the patients presented to the WMC are cared for by approximately 110 dedicated volunteer veterinary students that are grouped into teams to help treat our patients. In addition to our veterinary students, each team has one to two undergraduate volunteers. Just like the veterinary students, these undergraduates take time out of their busy schedules to assist in caring for our multitude of patients. They are integral team members that contribute so much to our clinic.
While the weather may not agree, the wild animals of Illinois seem to have decided that springtime is here! Our clinic is once again filling with orphaned infant and juvenile animals in need of care. At the same time, our student volunteers are coming to the end of the school year and have been studying for their last rounds of exams. So how do you split the care of these orphans between those already crunched for time? Hard work and organization!
Did you encounter an apparently orphaned animal?
Animal loving people naturally want to help when they find an apparently orphaned animal, but special care must be taken to make sure we are doing less harm than good. It is important to remember often the animal is not abandoned at all. Mothers can leave their broods for long periods of time to search for food or avoid attracting predators to the nest. For more information on whether or not an animal is a true orphan and if further action should be taken, view the video: