Heat Wave Brings Surge Of Sick Animals To Wildlife Care Centers

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – After back to back days of high temperatures, the Wildlife Care Association received a record number of animals in just a few days.

“On Monday, with this huge heat wave, we saw 100 animals,” said Anysia Avila, Animal Care Manager at Wildlife Care Association in Sacramento. “It was extremely difficult for our staff to put up with!”

You may look around and see more animals than usual out of their homes and in your space. But even though they’re small, they may not be injured – just a little hot.

“You can see we’re getting pretty crowded,” said Karina Snapp, who also works as an animal care manager at the center.

They typically take in 30 to 40 animals a day from Stockton to Sacramento. But this week, they received 101 on Monday, 71 on Tuesday, and 50 on Wednesday. It’s a packed house, and the animals outnumber volunteers 25 to 1.

But why so many animals were popping up in yards, sidewalks and the sides of the road?

“They can’t really acclimate to the weather, and they’re having trouble finding really stable water sources,” Avila said.

Right now, the center is treated about 700 animals including Virginia opossums and a bunch of birds.

“What we’re seeing a lot of is younger birds, very little feathering on them have been kicked out of the nest usually by a sibling that is a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger, and they’re hot,” Avila said. So there are too many little birds in the nest, and the smaller ones are being pushed out, and those are the ones we’re seeing a lot of.”

From American Crows to Yellow-Billed Magpies, these birds will spend two to three months getting ready to go back into the wild. Unlike other animals, Avila says mama birds won’t abandon their chicks after being touched by humans. So if you see a baby bird, you can put it right back in its nest!

If you’d like to help, here is advice from the wildlife center:

  1. Water: Provide a clean bucket of water for the animals outside
  2. Call: Call an animal care expert if you’re not sure what to do when you see an animal alone
  3. Volunteer: If you can, volunteer to care for animals at one of your local wildlife centers.

“Helping out keeping Sacramento wild is really important,” Avila said. “If you aren’t able to volunteer, any sort of donations absolutely help.’

The Wildlife Care Association accepts all wildlife even turkeys and pigs. But they are running out of space quickly. They need to put the birds in the aviary to fly, but it’s too hot to do that right now. So they need more volunteers to help while so many animals are there getting treated.

Listen Live