At the Sanctuary, licensed wildlife rehabilitators will provide emergency and on-going medical care for injured wildlife until their release back into native habitats. Currently, the Sanctuary does not have a facility to accept and care for these animals; therefore, all rescue and rehabilitation will be conducted off-site by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

We are honored and excited to be working with Lisa Dickal, state licensed wildlife rehabilitator who is volunteering her time and expertise to help the Sanctuary. Any questions or concerns about an injured or orphaned wild animal, please contact Lisa at: savectwildlife@gmail.com. In the event of an emergency, please contact CT DEEP dispatch 24 hour hotline at (860) 424-3333.

Lisa Dickal is a state licensed wildlife rehabilitator and a National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association Award recipient of the Rachel Fischoff Educational Scholarship. Lisa has a high intake volume and is able to successfully release more than half of the native wildlife that come into her care.

Wildlife FAQs

Do bats carry rabies?

Bats are flying mammals that have a lot of spooky myths attached to them. They are nocturnal animals that can navigate and capture insects such as pesky mosquitoes, while in flight (up to 60mph!) using an inaudible high pitched sound and listening to echoes. While not all species of bats prefer just insects, they are also a beneficial pollinator like hummingbirds and bees in the fruits and nectar they consume.

The myth on rabies! While any mammal can be susceptible to the rabies virus, it does not mean every individual bat is a carrier. However it is always wise to keep your distance and admire from a far, as with any wild animal, for your safety and theirs!

What do crows eat?

American Crows are opportunistic omnivores that are quite adaptable to a changing environment. Their diet can consist of fruits, berries, fish, mice, small mammals and bird eggs – to name a few! These extremely social and intelligent birds maintain a close knit family structure, working together as a unit to help raise young, find food and even fend off predators such as hawks. Fun fact! Crows are closely related to blue jays, nutcrackers, magpies and ravens.

Are vultures dangerous to people or pets?

Vultures are typically associated with the dark villain in the storybooks, but they are actually a very important part of our ecosystem! They are nature’s own clean up crew. These birds help prevent decay and disease from developing in the environment. Nature specially designed them to be able to do this efficiently with their bald head that does not trap bacteria, and their strong digestive tracts – that eats primarily anything already dead such as road kill. And have no worries, these birds can’t pick up and carry away your pets. Next time you see a vulture, give them some space to continue on with their very important eco-jobs!

Are barn owls endangered?

The barn owl is a bird of prey which is also commonly referred to as a raptor. These birds are nocturnal by nature and are exceptional hunters thanks to their keen hearing and vision. The location of their ears are uniquely unaligned, unlike our ears. One is level near the forehead, while the other is closer to the nostril. These ears are not visible due to the coverage of the feathers which helps to reduce and improve sound waves. This hearing is so in-tune, the owls can locate small prey that is not even in view!

The barn owl is an endangered bird of prey that is federally protected. The cause of this species decline is due to lack of open farmland and continuous building developments. If you come across a barn owl in distress, please contact a wildlife rehabilitator or your states DEEP on how to safely capture. If handled incorrectly you may severely harm yourself and the bird.

Is it normal for raccoons to be out during the day?

Raccoons are often associated with being active at night, however it is normal for them to also be out during the day. During baby season, mother raccoons will be out hunting and foraging for food to not only feed herself, but her nursing babies as well. If you do find a raccoon to be injured or orphaned, please contact a licensed rabies vector species (RVS) rehabilitator or DEEP for assistance.

Can baby squirrels that have fallen from their nest be reunited with their mom?

Often during tree cutting, many people find baby squirrels that have fallen from their nest. Guess what? They can be reunited with mom! Place the baby squirrel inside a box (not too deep) with a heated rice sock or a covered microwaveable heating pad. Place box near the fallen tree they came from by nailing the box to closest tree or by using a ladder to place them on safely. Give mom some time! While you are doing the steps mentioned, mom is busy rebuilding a nest. An audio of baby squirrel cries is also successful in alerting mom of location. This can be found on YouTube. Babies best chances of survival is with mom. During attempts of reuniting, it is important that the situation be closely monitored. If you are not able to successfully reunite or the baby is injured please contact a wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.

Did you know that the Virginia Opossum you see in your backyard is North America’s only marsupial?

Like kangaroos, they nurse their young (called joeys) in a stomach pouch. Sadly, because they are slow moving animals with poor eye sight, they are often hit by cars. If female, there is a chance she is carrying babies! If so, the babies need to be removed from the deceased mom ASAP. To remove them, hold the head of the newborn and gently pull off the mother’s nipple until released. Once removed, immediately keep them warm. Do not attempt to feed. Warmth is vital while finding help from a rehabilitator for experienced assistance.

If you touch a wild animal baby, will the mother reject it?

If you touch a wild baby and think you cannot put the baby back because of human sent, have no worries! That animal’s mama will come back. Mothers love their babies and do the best job to help that baby survive and grow up to be big and strong. Certain species such as fawns and rabbits are born without a scent. Nature designed it this way because these babies nest on the ground for hours to weeks, the lack of scent helps keep predators from noticing them. If these babies must be touched, you can rub your hands in dirt before handling, or rub the babies body gently with some dirt to mask the scent.

What if a wild animal has been injured by a cat?

If you ever come across an injured wild animal that you know had physical contact with a cat, that animal needs your help! Cats have a lethal bacteria in their saliva that enters the bloodstream and can cause septicemia which is fatal without immediate medical intervention. Please safely contain the animal in a secure box or carrier, providing darkness, warmth and quiet while you find professional help from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or animal hospital. Your quick response to the situation can help save the animals life!

Can a wild baby rabbit survive on its own?

The best way to determine if a wild baby rabbit is old enough to be on their own is by size! If the rabbit has erect ears, bright eyes and is furry; and ranges in between the size of a tennis to softball – he is on his own! In the wild, the babies are independent at 3–4 weeks of age. The white blaze marking on the four head does not indicate age.

Do flying squirrels really fly?

Did you know that southern flying squirrels can be found in New England? Although they don’t actually fly, they have a special skin flap that acts as a gliding sail. They can reach great distances going tree to tree for such a small mammal. You may not see flying squirrels as much as eastern grey squirrels because they are most active at night! These cavity dwelling animals prefer deciduous trees as homes and are extremely social, living in a colony with others. The main predator to flying squirrels are raccoons, owls, snakes, coyote and foxes. While they are super cute and small, please remember keeping any wildlife as a pet is illegal in most states!

How can I protect bald eagles?

To see a bald eagle in nature is a majestic sight indeed! Did you know that bald eagles do not develop their distinctive white head and tail until they reach 4 to 5 years of maturity? Birds of prey, such as bald eagles are dimorphic which means the females are larger than the males. Aside from seeing an eagle soaring in the sky, you can find them near water sources hunting for food. Eagles are known to harass and steal other birds during flight in hopes to retrieve the freshly hunted prey. They are fierce, powerful predators with large wing spans and pressure gripping talons. These birds are federally protected by law which has greatly helped their once decline in population. You can do your part in helping eagles by never poisoning rodents and by cleaning up fishing wire and hooks near waterways.

Do porcupines shoot their quills?

North American Porcupines are large, solitary rodents that are active year-round. They will den in tree cavities, rock holes, underground burrows, and underneath logs. Porcupines are well equipped to defend themselves but are not naturally aggressive. They are largely arboreal and are extremely well adapted to climb trees. They have poor eyesight, large claws and a tail used for climbing and the bottom of their feet are made with a special gripping texture for traction. Thousands of modified hairs called quills cover most of the body and tail. Quills are sharp with tiny barbs on their tips. Despite the myth, porcupines cannot shoot or throw their quills from a distance!

Why do birds tap their beaks on windows?

Birds are known to do this because they see their reflection and believe they are defending their territory from any other male competition! Most song bird males are distinctly different visually from the females. Males use their bright and colorful feather plumage to attract females during the mating season. Want to attract more colorful birds to your yard? Leave out plenty of quality bird seed, especially sunflower seeds to attract cardinals.

Are black bears shy?

Black bears are elusive and shy animals. They typically fear humans and are easily frightened by loud noises. Black bears are much smaller than their Grizzly (brown) bear cousins. Food sources such as bird feeders and un-kept garbage can be attractants to the bears in their search for food. Please do not purposely feed them – remember the saying, “a fed bear is a dead bear.” Once they are habituated with humans and associate people to food, they lose their instinctual fear and get too close for comfort. This results in unfortunate outcome for the animal. Education is key. Please enjoy their wild beauty from a distance!

What should I know about Blue Jays?

Blue Jays are a passerine (perching) song bird. Jays are known for their loud vocal behavior, and popularity at the bird feeders. They are extremely intelligent and have a close-knit family structure. They are cousins to Crows, Ravens, Nutcrackers and Magpies. They are so smart they are known to be great mimics of other birds such as Red-Shouldered Hawks. They do this to rely messages to other jays of a possible hawk presence and depending on the situation, to deceive other species into thinking a predator is near – they are very well known to do this at a bird feeder!

During the winter season, you can help blue jays simply by making sure your feeders stay full with seed and suet. Other wildlife furry and feathered friends will also appreciate it!

Are fisher cats related to cats (felines)?

Fisher cats are not at all related to cats (felines), nor fish for food. They are part of the Mustelid (weasel) family, which consists of ferrets, otters, badgers, mink, etc. Fishers are primarily nocturnal carnivores with the occasional plant and berry matter included into their diet. They are excellent climbers due to their retractable claws and are ambush predators meaning they take their prey by surprise and do not chase or stalk. These elusive animals are solitary, and are often confused with the calls of a red fox. Fisher cats seem to maintain a bad rap, but with all animals, it is important to get educated rather than fear them!