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

Why do I find bees that looks like they are dying?

In the last 5 years the bee population has dropped by 1/3. If bees were to disappear from the face of the earth, humans would have just 4 years left to live. This time of year bees can often look like they are dying or dead, however, they’re far from it. Bees can become tired and they simply don’t have enough energy to return to the hive which can often result in being swept away. If you find a tired bee in your home or outside, a simple solution of sugar and water will help revive an exhausted bee. Simply mix two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, and place on a spoon for the bee to reach.

What should I do if I come across a deer or other animal that is showing signs of aggression?

This is the season when wild animals are most protective of their young and it is so important to give them space and respect their boundaries. If you see a deer who is snorting or any other animal that seems very alert or tense, they may have young ones nearby. Please listen to their cues and leave the area calmly and quietly. Also, please keep dogs and horses far away so the animal does not feel threatened. Let’s all show wild animals the same respect that we would want in caring for our young.

If I find a fawn alone in the grass, does that mean it’s orphaned?

This is the season when many people find white-tailed deer fawns left alone and worry that the animal might be orphaned. Remember, it is normal for fawns to be left alone without the doe in sight. In fact, for their first month, fawns stay curled in the grass. However, if the animal is showing signs of distress such as vocalizing when not being touched, please reach out to your local wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.

If I find a turtle crossing the road, what should I do?

Turtles migrate every year in order to lay their eggs in the ground…sometimes this includes the dangerous task of crossing a road. It’s important for people to know that if they wish to help these turtles, they need to place them across the road in the direction that they were going. Also, box turtles are different than snapping turtles and painted turtles since they cannot swim. They are land turtles and live in an area about the size of two football fields that they “migrate” around during the year. Please DO NOT move a turtle to a different area! They will be lost, and won’t know where to hibernate, find food, mate, etc.  And please, never release a pet turtle (one that was bought at a pet store) into the wild. They will be disoriented, lost and will not survive plus they can spread harmful bacteria to other creatures.

How can I protect nests and small timid animals such as rabbits and ground living birds from danger?

Some animals will instinctively freeze and lower themselves to the ground when they are frightened. This is incredibly dangerous and can place them at risk from lawn mowers, cars and brush fires. If you see an animal who stops in the middle of the road out of fear, please slowly (and safely) stop the car and allow it to pass or gently move the animal to the other side of the road. When mowing the lawn, please check the area for nests. If you find one, put a marker at the site so you can avoid that spot with the mower. And if possible, always check a brush pile before burning to make sure no animals are living inside.

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!

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!

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

Foxes and 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 foxes and 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 fox or 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.

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.

How can I protect bald eagles and other birds of prey?

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 and other birds of prey 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!