We are not a large facility. Initially we took in mammals and birds and our yearly intake was about a hundred animals a year. Then we began to specialize, not out of choice but consequence. There are not many bird rehabilitators. Consequently we took in more birds than mammals and became more experienced with birds. Each species has specific dietary and housing needs. Large flight cages were constructed to properly care for raptors, large birds and waterfowl. As not all rehabilitators have large flight cages, other rehabilitators that did not have proper housing brought their large birds here for proper pre-release conditioning. Over time we dealt with more and more raptors. Now we are primarily a raptor (hawks, owls, eagles, accipiters and vultures) center specializing in owls, although we do take in other wildlife.
Being a small facility has its advantages. The primary focus is on the rehabilitation of the wildlife in our care. Striving to create as stress free of an environment as possible is an utmost concern. Stress can be fatal to wildlife. Non-veterinary medical care, feed and housing maintenance are provided by the same caregiver. To help minimize stress even more, clothes and shoes worn by the caregiver are kept in the same color range. This familiararity helps maintain a stress reduced environment and also helps to prevent habituation towards humans.
Wildlife rehabilitation requires a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection , in addition, to handle migratory birds a permit from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is required. A requirement of the USFW permit is that wildlife is kept apart from domesticity, i.e., humans and pets. For that reason our facility is not accessible to the public. The outdoor housing is nestled in the woods behind an eight foot stockade fence. Neither do we have wildlife for display nor education purposes. That cuts down on insurance costs so that money can be spent directly on the wildlife in for rehab. It also allows us to follow our consciences to avoid the stress wild birds and animals inevitably endure when kept for public viewing.
Founded in 1983 by Darlene Wimbrow, Back To The Wild Rehabilitation, Inc. of Redding, Connecticut was established as a non-profit organization in 1997. The specific purposes of Back To The Wild are to promote and facilitate the preservation and rehabilitation of displaced, injured and orphaned wild animals in preparation for release into their natural habitats.
Back to the Wild Rehab CT photo
Back to the Wild Rehab CT photo
Simply put, we do not interfere unless a wild animal is in need. Many people seek to have wildlife removed from their properties. Others are concerned the nestlings in the nest on their front porch are not being properly cared for. Many people call to inquire about the rabbit's nest near their dog kennel. All of these are valid concerns. We
are here to help you assess your concerns. No question is too insignificant. It is the misinterpretation of a wild animal's well-being that can cause human interference when there is no need. So please, never hesitate to call. Our primary purpose is to help you determine when a wild animal is in need.
Red-shouldered hawk brought in for pre-release flight conditioning