Wildlife rehabilitators nurse critters back to health

A recovering turtle at Second Chance Wildlife Center.

 

Because of our abundant green spaces (e.g. Rock Creek Park and the National Arboretum), bodies of water (e.g. the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers), and food sources (e.g. that leftover donut someone dropped on the sidewalk), the DC area has a surprising amount of wildlife diversity. Did you know that the District alone is home to about 19 amphibian species, 21 reptile species, 29 mammal species, and 240 bird species? Thanks to the nonprofit Second Chance Wildlife Center in Rockville and City Wildlife in DC, medical care is available for these wild locals. From orphaned baby squirrels, to turtles who’ve been hit by cars, to woodpeckers who’ve been attacked by cats, these nonprofits provide veterinary care and rehabilitation until the patients can be released into the wild.

A few weeks ago, Atlas Obscura’s Obscura Society DC got an exclusive tour of the Second Chance Wildlife Center. And last February (as they do every February), City Wildlife held a public open house. We didn’t see too many animals, because exposure to strange humans can be stressful for wild patients. So these events were scheduled for relatively slow times. Even the animals we could see were limited to very brief visits. Below are a few photos from these events.

For more, read John Kelly’s wonderful column “When D.C.’s squirrels, birds and other wild animals need help, City Wildlife is there,” watch the adorable Washington Post video about Second Chance Wildlife Center, “Extending a helping hand to baby squirrels,” and read about the late, great DC snowy owl that City Wildlife cared for last year.

All images by angela n.

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The bucolic grounds surrounding the Second Chance Wildlife Center.

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Recovering squirrels at Second Chance Wildlife Center.

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Second Chance Wildlife Center.

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X-ray of a bird who was shot by a pellet gun, Second Chance Wildlife Center. Those small white circles are pellets.

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No, they don’t rescue cockroaches! These guys are used as food for insect-eating patients. Second Chance Wildlife Center.

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Second Chance Wildlife Center.

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Recovering squirrel, City Wildlife.

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Recovering pigeon, City Wildlife