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Rescue - Rehabilitate - Release

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Protecting California's Native Wildlife

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Get Involved

We are always looking for volunteers to join our corps of over 200 who do everything from dishes & laundry to rescuing marine mammals and teaching birds to fly. Our volunteers make our work possible.

Donate

Your donation makes a difference.  CWC does not receive any regular funding from federal, state or local governments and we rely on the public to keep our doors open to the animals who need help.

Upcoming Event

Join us  on September 25, 2016 as CWC hosts its 18th annual celebration, “The Wild Brunch: Wild and Wonderful!” highlighting the Center’s work with feathered, furred, and finned native California wildlife.

Our Mission

California Wildlife Center takes responsibility for the protection of native wildlife through rehabilitation, education, and conservation.  It is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of native California species, who otherwise would be left to suffer from the effects of human encroachment, habitat destruction and environmental damage.

Wildlife FAQ

How can I keep migrating ducks from taking up residence in my pool?

Usually, brightly colored objects floating freely in the water will discourage them from landing on it. Things like beach balls or kids’ toys can be used effectively. Covering the pool until they have moved on also works well.  Keep landscaping clear of low-lying shrubs, grasses and weeds as this creates a suitable environment for duck nests.

For more information about Ducks, visit http://www.dfwwildlife.org/duck.html

There is a raccoon in my yard/attic. What can I do?

Raccoons cannot legally be relocated to another area, but there are a few things you can do to encourage them to move on.

RACCOON REPELLANTS      
Cayenne pepper
Repel® Granules –available at Amazon.com (doesn’t always work but worth a try)

Hot Pepper Repellant Recipe
You need:
1. One chopped yellow onion
2. One chopped Jalapeno pepper
3. One tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
Boil ingredients for 20 minutes in two quarts of water. Then let it cool and strain the mixture through cheesecloth. Apply this with a spray bottle. You must apply daily!

Mechanical Repellants
Scarecrow® by Contech – a motion-activated high pressure jet sprayer. It gets great reviews and comes highly recommended from many wildlife exclusionists.  Available on Amazon.com
Raccoons are smart, so these exclusion tactics usually work quite well if performed correctly

RACCOONS ON THE PREMISES       
Be sure to eliminate all outside food sources, such as pet food, birdseed, etc. in the evening. If your pets must be fed outside, then remove all food at night.
Use metal or heavy plastic trash containers. Keep the lids securely fastened to prevent odors from escaping.
Keep BBQ grills clean or stored in a secure place.
If you see a raccoon, haze them. Create a noise maker such as a soda can taped closed with some pennies inside. Throw the can towards the raccoons. Spray them with a hose.
Install an electric fence on the tops of all the fences and on the bottoms if they can climb under. Fido-shock or Havahart brands are recommended. They can be found on Amazon.com.
Use the Scarecrow mentioned above in high traffic areas such as gardens.

RACCOONS IN THE ATTIC       
If there are babies, give the mother 1 or 2 nights to relocate the family.
It is best to leave them alone until mom moves the babies out.
If you can, sprinkle Cayenne pepper or Repel® granules, a commercial dog and cat repellant, around the entry hole, both inside and out, if this is possible.
During the day, place a radio in the attic tuned to an all talk station.
Use floodlights to keep the area where they are living well lit.
Once the raccoon has moved out, secure their entry point. Use hardware cloth or welded wire.

RACCOONS ON THE ROOF     
Spray them with a hose.
Trim the trees closest to the house or wrap a 4ft wide sheet metal flashing around the tree a couple of feet off the ground to prevent climbing.
Apply metal flashing to other areas of entry.

RACCOONS IN THE GARDEN       
Use a Scarecrow sprayer in the garden.
Apply cayenne pepper spray recipe liberally daily around vulnerable plants.
Light the area with floodlights or motion detector lights.

RACCOONS IN THE FISH POND
Build a frame around the pond. Attach 1 ft of chicken wire that will protrude over the edge of the pond. Raccoons will not stand on the flimsy wire and won’t be able to get to the edge of the pond to reach down.
Have plenty of hiding places for fish to go into well away from the edge of the pond.

I found a baby bird that fell from its nest. What should I do?

Orphaned Baby Songbirds

If you find a baby bird during the spring or summer months that is fully feathered, able to perch and grasp with its feet, and able to hop around, then it has likely fledged and will be fed by its parents on the ground. Fledgling birds are learning to fly from the ground up, and will flutter around and hide under bushes, while the parents watch and gather food. Leave the fledgling on the ground near where you found it originally.  It does not belong in a nest (nor will it stay in one) as it is their instinct to be on the ground. If you are unsure about the bird being a fledgling or notice an injury such as a wing droop or a wound, please contact CWC staff and follow the directions below.

If the bird runs around and is chick-like (covered with short fuzzy down) it may be a baby quail or killdeer. These birds nest on the ground, and the parents fly off when people come near. Leave the immediate area and watch to see if a parent will come back.

It is a federal offense to keep native wildlife as pets. Baby songbirds will need immediate care from a licensed rehabilitator.

The bird needs help and should be brought to California Wildlife Center if:

  • The parents are known to be dead
  • The bird is newly hatched and the nest and nest mates are out of reach
  • It has an injury
  • A pet or a child has brought it in from places unknown
  • If someone has picked up a healthy baby bird or a nest-full of babies and has kept it for a day or two, they can still try returning it to the nest site. Please call CWC for instructions.
  • Parent birds have home territories and, even if the nest and babies are gone, the parents remain there searching for their babies and will sometimes resume feeding them after an absence of one or two days.

What to do if the bird needs to be brought to CWC 

  • Get a box and line it with crumpled paper on the bottom. Make air holes.
  • Pickup the baby songbird by the body and place it in the box.
  • Seal the box. Place the box in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach hospital staff. Place a heating pad set to medium under the box.
  • Do not offer any food or water.

There are coyotes in my neighborhood. What should I do?

Coyotes are a part of even the most urban environments. Here are things to do that may minimize conflict:

  • Keep small pets indoors
  • Remove outdoor pet food
  • Pick up fallen fruit
  • Remove bird feeders
  • Secure garbage
  • Trim overgrown landscaping
  • Don’t water your lawn at night
  • Supervise small children at play

Never feed coyotes! Most conflicts occur when coyotes associate people with food. This alters their behavior and makes them more dangerous.

If you see a coyote in your yard:

  • Be aggressive, yell or spray a hose at the animal
  • Make yourself appear large and back away slowly
  • Never turn your back or run away

For answers to specific Coyote Coexistence situations, please read our Coyote Coexistence Guidelines

What should I do if I find an injured hummingbird?

Injured/Sick Adult Hummingbirds

  • Get a small box and line it with crumpled tissue on the bottom. Make air holes.
  • Pick up the hummingbird by the body and place it in the box.
  • Place it in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach hospital staff.
  • Offer the hummingbird a sugar water mixture of one part sugar to four parts water.
  • Use a straw as a pipet.  Dip the end of the straw into the sugar water solutions, then offer the straw to the hummingbird.
  • The hummingbird will place its beak into the bottom of the straw and drink.  Let the hummingbird drink as much as it wants every hour until it is transferred to a licensed rehabilitator.
  • Do not get any of the sugar water onto the hummingbird’s feathers, and remove all food/ water before transporting the bird.

 

Orphaned Baby Hummingbirds

  • It is a federal offense to keep native wildlife as pets.
  • Get a small box and line it with crumpled tissue on the bottom.  Make air holes.
  • Pick up the baby hummingbirds and place them in the box.
  • Place the box in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach hospital staff.  Place a heating pad set to medium under the box.
  • Offer the baby hummingbirds a sugar water mixture of one part sugar to four parts water.
  • Use a straw as a pipet. Dip the end of the straw into the sugar water solution, then offer the straw to the hummingbird.
  • The hummingbird will place its beak into the bottom of the straw and drink.  Let the hummingbird drink as much as it wants every 30 minutes until it is transferred to a licensed rehabilitator.
  • Do not get any of the sugar water onto the hummingbird’s feathers, and remove all food/water before transporting the bird.

What should I do if I find a stranded seal?

  • Do not touch, pick up, harass, feed, or pour water on the animal. Marine mammals can easily cause harm, and are easily stressed by humans.
  • Do not return the animal to the water. Seals and sea lions temporarily “haul-out” on land to rest.  Harbor seal mothers often leave their pups ashore while they’re feeding at sea.  A beached whale, dolphin, or porpoise should be reported immediately.
  • Observe the animal from a distance of at least 50 feet. Keep people and dogs away.
  • Take note of any physical characteristics such as size, presence of external earflaps, and fur color.  This information will help the response team determine the species and what rescue equipment is needed.
  • Take note of the animal’s condition. Is it weak and underweight? Are there any open wounds?
  • Does the animal have any obvious identification tags or markings?
  • Determine the exact location of the animal and provide accurate directions. It’s not possible to rescue an animal if it cannot be located.
  • Call the Marine Mammal Response Team and provide them with as much information as possible.  310-458-WILD (9453)

Co-existing with Wildlife

With a population of over 10 million and an area of over 4700 square miles, Los Angeles is a densely packed metropolis.  As people flock to the area for its beautiful beaches, phenomenal weather and scenic landscapes, they come in greater and greater contact with animals.  Whether it’s accidentally knocking down a bird’s nest, or a piece of trash ingested by a sea lion, the human encroachment in Southern California is having a deleterious effect on its wildlife.

While some animal adaptation occurs, at CWC our goal is to keep native fauna wild by rehabilitating animals as quickly as possible and releasing them back into their native territory.

We accept animals 365 days a year. Whether directly from the public, through our relationships with local animal care centers or from local vets, animals in need know that they can come to CWC for care. We receive over 10,000 calls a year from the public that range from raccoons in the attic, a fox struck by a car or an orphaned duckling. Our staff and volunteers provide vital information that is key in saving the animals lives.

Latest from FB

Eat delicious food and help wildlife! California Wildlife Center’s The Wild Brunch event on September 25th will have gourmet vegetarian cuisine from: Kristy's Wood Oven & Wine Bar, Pedalers Fork, TIKKA GRILL, Cafe Habana Malibu, gardein, Duke's Malibu, Marmalade Cafe, Tramonto Restaurant - Malibu, and Tavern 1 Grill & Tap House PCH Malibu.

Get your tickets today at cawildlife.org/wild-brunch/ !
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Did you know that birds and squirrels nest in trees from spring through fall? Please wait until winter to trim your trees to keep these young animals safe.

For more information on your wild neighbors, visit cawildlife.org/animal-profiles/
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This video shows how CWC staff and volunteers feed some of our smallest patients. ... See MoreSee Less

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