Enrichment for Wildlife Patients

When someone gets a new pet, be it a dog, cat, or ferret, one of the most fun aspects is buying new and fun toys for our animal to enjoy! The value of this act goes much deeper than the smile-inducing super cute Instagram-worthy photos they create. These toys are essential for the animal to keep their mind stimulated and its body active while we are away, or very busy videoing their antics. This principle is the same for the patients here at the Wildlife Medical Clinic, particularly for our long-term patients. Enrichment is a very important part of wildlife medicine as the psychological needs of these individuals go hand in hand with their physical needs.

Delphine, our lovable ambassador opossum, explores a cardboard tube stuffed with snacks!

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Snapping Turtle Rounds

The University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic’s mission prioritizes providing care and treatment to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals. Through this mission, we have the unique opportunity to offer hands-on training to volunteer veterinary students and to educate members of our community about the wildlife around them. Our volunteers are trained to provide exceptional patient care and to engage with our local community through outreach events. One of the ways we prepare our students for working in the Clinic is through weekly educational rounds presentations. These presentations are delivered by speakers ranging from faculty and researchers to our own students, and cover topics related to conservation and various topics within veterinary medicine. Discussing research topics keeps students aware of what is changing in the field and what approaches or medications they could use in the coming years. By presenting clinical cases, our students can reflect on what they have learned and how they should approach a similar case.

Summer veterinary student intern Tina with one of the many white-tailed deer fawns that presented to our clinic this summer!

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Tips on Keeping Critters Out This Winter

Tips on Keeping Critters Out This Winter

The Wildlife Medical Clinic at Illinois shares tips on keeping critters out this winter.• Wildlife tend to start finding places for the winter as the weather is turning colder, which could mean more chances for them to come into someone's house, garage, or barn• Preventing rodent entry from the start & minimize/eliminate rodent bait & glue traps when possible is idealo avoids ingestion of the bait but unintended species, pets, or children• Remove food sources (trash bags, bird feeders, etc) & keep garbage cans closed to decrease animal interest in the spaces; feed your pets inside/raised off the ground when possible to minimize food access for wildlife; clean grill regularly & don't put food scraps in the garden, secure & cover any compost• Identify & seal shut any potential entry holes, especially leading to your attic, garage, or basement; repair damaged vent screens or install vent covers where possible• Wildlife trappers exist & can help remove an unwanted wild animal from a human living space if they have an unwanted guest for the holidays

Posted by ciLiving.tv on Wednesday, November 13, 2019

This November, Wildlife Medical Clinic Director Dr. Sander and third-year veterinary student Ally brought our ambassador ball python, Bucket, with them to visit ciLiving and chat about the different ways wild animals make it through cold Illinois winters. Here are some tips from the video:

  • Wildlife tend to start finding places for the winter as the weather is turning colder, which could mean more chances for them to come into someone’s house, garage, or barn
  • Preventing rodent entry from the start & minimize/eliminate rodent bait & glue traps when possible is ideal
    • This avoids ingestion of the bait but unintended species, pets, or children.
  • Remove food sources (trash bags, bird feeders, etc) & keep garbage cans closed to decrease animal interest in the spaces; feed your pets inside/raised off the ground when possible to minimize food access for wildlife; clean grill regularly & don’t put food scraps in the garden, secure & cover any compost
  • Identify & seal shut any potential entry holes, especially leading to your attic, garage, or basement; repair damaged vent screens or install vent covers where possible
  • Wildlife trappers exist & can help remove an unwanted wild animal from a human living situations