The Ark is passionate about wildlife.
It is our goal to be a safety net for injured, orphaned or ill wildlife. Orphans are raised with others of their kind so that they can be released with a well established sense of their wild origins, the 'language' of their species, and to avoid bonding with their human caregivers.
Injured or ill wildlife receives compassionate and competent medical assistance from the wonderful veterinarians who partner with The Ark and then they come to stay with us until they are ready and able to safely return to their wild lives.
What is wildlife rehabilitation?
Wildlife rehabilitation involves caring for ill, orphaned and injured wild animals with the goal of returning them to their natural habitat.
Why is wildlife rehabilitation important?
to help animals that were adversely affected by human interference
to saves the lives of young animals that would not be able to care for themselves
to relieve pain and suffering for animals after traumatic injuries or those that are beyond the ability to recover
to use as environmental indicators for things such as disease transmission, environmental toxicities, effects of habitat destruction
to helps conserve threatened and endangered species
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Process
1 - Admission & Initial Assessment
Determine if the animal really needs our intervention
If a healthy orphan, try reuniting strategies to return them to their mother
Physical exam and medical care is made possible by local veterinary hospitals who offer their services free of charge to help us assist wildlife in need.
2 - Treatment
Begin rehydration with fluid therapy
Create care plan to address animal’s reason for admission
Warmth and feeding of healthy orphans
Wound care of soft tissue injuries
Feeding protocols for starving animals
3 - Conditioning & Acclimation
Move to larger, outdoor caging
Allows for acclimation to current weather conditions
Encourages the animal to exercise to regain the stamina they need for life in the wild
4 - Release
Animals must be completely self-sufficient
Displays fear of predators, including humans
Knows how and is able to find food
Displays normal behavior: birds can fly, squirrels can climb, ducks can swim, etc
Selection of release location and day
Many factors to take into consideration
Weather and season
Aim for 3 consecutive days of favorable weather
For migrating birds, are the rest of the species still in the area or have they already left on migration?
For species that cache food for the winter like squirrels, do they have enough time to do so before winter?
Some species, such as birds of prey, are released in the same location they were found
They have a home territory and are familiar with sources of food
Monogamous species may have a mate waiting for their return
Is the location a suitable habitat and safe for the animal?
Is the appropriate food plentiful?
Is there already an abundance of this species at the location?
Are there other dangers to the animal such as automobile traffic, dense human population and hunting?
To read more about The Ark Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Inc, visit https://www.thearkrescue.org/