Contaminated Wildlife

Never attempt to wash wildlife yourself! WILDNorth has trained professionals that follow very specific procedures. If you find oiled wildlife please collect the animal and bring into our Wildlife Hospital (12515 128 Street, Edmonton) immediately. Please call the Wildlife Hotline ahead of time to let us know you are coming (780-914-4118).
See for hours and location.

If we are closed, please bring the animal to a 24 hour Emergency Vet Clinic

  1. Guardian Veterinary Centre (5620 99 Street, or Edmonton; 780-436-5580)
  2. Vet Emerg North (12831 97 Street Northwest, Edmonton; 780-423-9111).

If you bring the animal to a Veterinary Clinic, it is important that you leave contact information so that WILDNorth can call you with any questions.

It is extremely important that once you have collected a wild animal you arrange to bring it to care. Do not attempt to treat wildlife on your own. Most wild animals are protected by law, and having them in captivity without a special permit could result in prosecution.

Here are a few tips for collecting animals and birds:

  • You will need leather gloves, eye protection, an old towel or sheet, and a cardboard box with a lid
  • Please note that the type of box you put the wild animal in is extremely important! A bird must be able to turn around in the box without damaging any of its feathers (many birds of prey depend on their tail feathers to help them hover while hunting). Damaged feathers can make the difference between spending two weeks in rehabilitation versus six months!
  • Make sure that any air holes are not large enough for the animal to poke its head out of, or it will do so until it is exhausted from trying to escape. Reduce the amount of visual and auditory stimuli. Dark and quiet is best.
  • Use a towel or sheet (unless you are handling a porcupine) to drape over the animal before you pick it up. Do not use a towel to collect a porcupine – please get specific instructions from staff.
  • Gently scoop the animal up (there are special instructions for adult hares and raptors, and any large wild animals – talk to staff before touching these animals) and place it in a cardboard box that it fits into comfortably and that is lined with a towel or paper towel.

Containers for Transport:

Cardboard boxes work the best for most birds except Ravens (they are able to pierce the box with their beaks). Plastic cat carriers also work but larger birds can damage their wing and tail feathers by getting them caught in the ventilation holes. Covering the holes with box board will help. These carriers work well for most small mammals except squirrels, who can chew their way through the plastic.

Porcupines can be transported in plastic totes or metal/plastic garbage cans with ventilation holes. Wire cages are not recommended for most animals as they can easily damage their feathers against the wire.

Containers should have a tangle free material (sheet, towel, paper towel) on the bottom to prevent the animal from sliding around during transport and the container should be large enough to allow for good ventilation. Small holes can be made in the cardboard box prior to placing the animal inside. Water and food dishes should be removed when transporting.