Ohio Wildlife Center operates a free wildlife hospital in central Ohio.  The hospital is open to assist with wildlife health issues Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. If you have a wildlife emergency, please follow the instructions below.  You can also find answers to the most common wildlife questions by calling our monitored Wildlife Information Line at 614-793-WILD or view our Wildlife FAQs.  If you have an after-hours wildlife emergency, please follow the instructions below.

**Please Note** Ohio Wildlife Center does not have the capability to pick up injured and orphaned wildlife, and we rely on caring people like you to bring the animal to us.  SCRAM! Wildlife Control is available to transport injured, ill or orphaned animals for a fee, which goes directly to support Ohio Wildlife Center’s nonprofit mission. This service is available by calling 614-763-0696 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

If you have a non-injured, nuisance wild animal in your home or business, please contact SCRAM! Wildlife Control at 614-763-0696, or fill out an online request form for humane removal options.

Not in central Ohio?  Locate the nearest licensed wildlife rehabilitator.


Does the animal appear ill or injured? (See below)

  • If the answer is YES, bring the animal to Ohio wildlife Center’s Hospital during open hours (see rescue and transport instructions below).
  • If the answer is NO, refer to our Wildlife FAQs and continue problem solving.
  • If you are UNSURE of illness or injury but are able to catch the animal, bring it to Ohio Wildlife Center’s Hospital during open hours for evaluation. With the exception of young juveniles, a wild animal that is ABLE to be captured is probably in need of help. Upon examination, if the animal is uninjured and healthy, hospital staff will return the animal to you to take it back where it was found.

SIGNS OF ILLNESS OR INJURY

Birds

  • Blood
  • One wing drooping
  • Obvious fracture
  • Favoring one foot
  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Strange posture (leaning, head tilt, on back, on breast)
  • Inactive, allows close human approach
  • Covered by flies and/or maggots

Juvenile or Adult Mammals

  • Blood
  • Fractured limbs
  • Strange posture (laying on stomach or back, circling, head shaking)
  • Seizures
  • Dragging rear limbs, limping
  • Inactive, allows close human approach
  • Covered by flies and/or maggots

Infants (All Species)

  • Blood
  • Fractured limbs
  • Bruising
  • Cuts or punctures
  • Cold to the touch
  • Covered by flies and/or maggots

RESCUE AND TRANSPORT

  • Ensure rescuer and animal safety at all times. Minimize handling, use restraint equipment where possible to maximize efficiency and prevent unnecessary accidents.
  • Do not pet or hold animal in hand during transport. Wild animals are easily stressed with human presence.
  • Find a suitable container for transport, such as a cat carrier, dog crate, Rubbermaid container or trashcan or cardboard box.
  • Ensure container has a secure lid/top! Do not transport until the animal is secure in a container.
  • Keep noise to a minimum during capture and transport—turn all radios off, talk at low levels, etc.
How to transport an ADULT - RACCOON, OPOSSUM, SKUNK, WOODCHUCK, SQUIRREL or RABBIT

What you’ll need:

  1. CRATE, RUBBERMAID CONTAINER, TRASH CAN OR LARGE BOX
  2. TOWEL, SHEET, OR NET
  3. BROOM, SHOVEL
  4. HEAVY GLOVES

What to do:

  1. Place container with opening to the side and, if necessary, cover with a towel to create dark, den-like space
  2. You may place food items in container (cat/dog or human food) to entice
  3. Place container near animal and use broom or shovel to gently push animal in. Also may use net if available
  4. Wear gloves if needing to pick animal up with towel, etc.
How to transport BATS

What you’ll need:

  1. COFFEE CAN OR CONTAINER WITH LID
  2. LEATHER GLOVES

What to do:

  1. Wearing gloves, place can over stationary bat
  2. Slide lid or flat cardboard under bat and seal container tightly
  3. Ventilate with small holes and transport
How to transport RAPTORS

What you’ll need:

  1. CRATE, RUBBERMAID CONTAINER, TRASH CAN OR LARGE BOX (ALL W/ LIDS)
  2. TOWEL, SHEET, BLANKET OR NET
  3. HEAVY GLOVES

What to do:

  1. Place container on its side with opening behind animal.
  2. Approach bird from the front with sheet spread out, walking toward container (backing the bird up into the container).
  3. Alternatively, you may also throw a heavy sheet or blanket on the bird and place container on top, sliding container lid or flat cardboard under animal to secure for transport.  May also use net if available.
How to transport DUCKS/GEESE

What you’ll need:

  1. TRASH CAN OR LARGE BOX
  2. BLANKET, SHEET OR NET

What to do:

  1. Use net if available.  Can also throw heavy sheet or blanket on animal to contain.
  2. Give geese a tight hug around wings/ducks firmly grip wings toward body with hands.
  3. Pick up and place in container with secure lid.
  4. If having trouble getting close, you may feed cracked corn to bird for a few days until it allows closer approach, and then re-attempt capture.
How to transport GREAT BLUE HERON

What you’ll need:

  1. TRASH CAN OR LARGE BOX
  2. BLANKET OR SHEET
  3. GLASSES/EYE PROTECTION

What to do:

  1. Wear glasses if available.
  2. Throw sheet or blanket on top of heron, grab beak first then pick up body and place in container.
  3. Herons are very light, and easily collapse under a heavy blanket for easy transport.
How to transport SONGBIRDS

What you’ll need:

  1. PILLOW CASE, SMALL TOWEL or NET

What to do:

  1. Place pillowcase or towel on top of bird.
  2. Gently pick up and put in box.
How to transport INFANT MAMMALS

What you’ll need:

  1. SMALL BOX (e.g. Shoe box)
  2. TOWEL, T-SHIRT, ETC.
  3. HEAT SOURCE
    • A sock filled with dry rice (tie knot at end of sock and microwave for ~ 1 min)
    • Zip-lock bag filled with hot water placed in a second bag to prevent leaking
    • Empty cola bottle or hot water bottle filled with hot water wrapped in a t-shirt or cloth

What to do:

  1. Place in box with towel and additional heat source
How to transport INFANT BIRDS

What you’ll need:

  1. SMALL BOX (e.g. Shoe box)
  2. NEST (ARTIFICIAL OR ORIGINAL)

What to do:

  1. Place in box with nest

After Hours Advice

If you encounter a sick, injured or orphaned animal when our hospital is closed, provide temporary shelter in a quiet place away from children and pets.  For older animals, keep contained in a dog crate, cat carrier or ventiliated box.  For infant animals, keep the patient warm and dry using a lidded box (such as a shoe box) with a cloth or towel on the bottom. A heating pad underneath the box (set on low) or a rice or bird-seed bag (A sock filled with dry rice/seed, tie knot at end of sock and microwave for ~ 1 min) may be used to help keep the patient warm.  If it’s a juvenile or older adult that is able to sit up and move around, you can provide a small amount of water (peanut butter jar lid).

Unless specifically advised to do so by the Wildlife Center or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, please DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL. Many wild animals have very sensitive stomachs and require very special diets.  Feeding an animal improper foods can lead to diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and/or death.


Wildlife conflict?

If you have a “nuisance” issue with an animal on your premises, under your porch/deck, in your attic or home that cannot be resolved, please contact SCRAM! Wildlife Control at 614-763-0696, or fill out an online request form.  SCRAM! is a service of Ohio Wildlife Center that offers 100% NON-LETHAL solutions to human-wildlife conflicts in the home or business.  All proceeds from SCRAM! services support Ohio Wildlife Center’s wildlife rehabilitation and conservation education efforts.