Wildlife Emergencies

Wildlife Emergencies

Please see our downloads below for more information when determining if an animal needs help.

Remember the following when dealing with wildlife:

  • If you have to run any kind of wildlife down to catch it, it’s probably old enough to be on its own.
  • If an adult animal is easy to approach or catch, something may be wrong with it.
  • Signs of injury or illness include an open wound, maggots, or an inability to flee.
  • In the states of Tennessee and Georgia, all birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1973.
  • It is illegal in Tennessee to relocate or keep as a pet any wild animal.
  • All turtles are illegal in Tennessee, even if purchased in another state.
  • Only licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators are able to keep wild animals for rehabilitation.

YOUR FIRST CALL WHEN DETERMINING WHETHER AN ANIMAL NEEDS HELP OR NOT SHOULD BE TO A LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR. Do not attempt to feed or care for the animal until you have received instructions from a licensed rehabilitator, not the internet!

Call list for rehabilitators who assist with injured/orphaned wildlife

For any injured or orphaned wildlife (birds, rabbits, opossums, etc.), you can call the Chattanooga Zoo at 423-697-1322 to arrange a drop off time. DO NOT take the animal to the zoo without and appointment.
Bees – Hamilton County Agricultural Extension Service: 423-855-6113
Raptors (hawks, owls) – licensed rehabber Alix Parks: 423-847-5757
Songbirds – licensed rehabber Sherry Teas: 423-593-0032
Raccoons – licensed rehabber Lynne McCoy: 865-397-9540 or Bev Bitner: 865-209-8110
Suspected rabid animal – Hamilton County Health Department: 423-209-8110


Wildlife Emergency FAQ