Volume 22December 2005

A quarterly newsletter produced by the Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina (WRNC). WRNC's mission is to share information and knowledge about wildlife rehabilitation for the benefit of native wildlife. For comments or questions, write to: WRNC, 2542 Weymoth Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.

Editors Sally Davis and Brenda Hiles

Inside: Symposium 2006
Symposium details, Page 3
Reservation form:
Donors needed, Page 4
An order form for books is available at




Board Backs Rabies Proposal
A proposal to allow specially trained, vaccinated rehabilitators to care for rabies vector species will be presented to the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC).
The WRNC board of directors voted 10 to 0 to send the proposal to WRC. Enabling rehabilitators to care for animals at a high risk of carrying rabies will help protect the public, board members said. "A significant portion of the public choose not to surrender a baby raccoon when they learn that the raccoon will be euthanized," the proposal states. "When specially trained rehabilitators are allowed to accept these animals, people agree to surrender the animals. Potentially rabid animals are removed from the public and are instead brought under the care of a few people who are thoroughly trained in safe handling procedures and understand the precautions that must be taken with these animals."
The WRNC Board of Directors held its online meeting Oct. 2. Present were Linda Bergman, Toni
O'Neil, Bobby Schopler, Mary Weiss, Jennifer Burgin, Jean Chamberlain, Elizabeth Hanrahan, Carla Johnson, Beth Knapp-Tyner and Mathias Englemann.
Sally Davis (excused), Joan McMurray and Mary Beth Bryman were absent.
The board also discussed WRNC's involvement in the 2006 North Carolina Veterinarian Conference. While board members agree the organization should be involved, several questions remain regarding level of involvement and its value to WRNC's membership and objectives. The topic was tabled for later discussion.
In other business, the board:

Continuing Education

From the editor's desk

This newsletter is your tool for reaching everyone else in WRNC. Please feel free to submit comments, corrections, announcements and submissions for future newsletters to Brenda Hiles at or Sally Davis at
The next editorial deadline is Feb. 6th, 2006.

The opinions, techniques, and recommendations expressed in the articles of this newsletter are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by WRNC.


Symposium 2006
Jan. 28 - 29
WRNC invites rehabilitators and associated wildlife professionals to attend its fourth symposium being held Jan. 28 and 29 at the North Carolina Zoo's Educational Center in Asheboro.
We have planned an exciting selection of sessions for this symposium. You'll want to attend the session on the use of radiographs for wildlife. Learn how they are taken and how to read them. Research is challenging the traditional theories on imprinting; the latest ideas will be presented. Participate in a discussion on ethics for rehabilitators. Sessions also are planned on hummingbirds and cottontails.
See how a mammal cage is built and build your own on site.
Be sure to attend one of the necropsy workshops on birds and mammals.
Have trouble with calculations? Stop in for one of the workshops on drug dosage calculations.
Do you know how to recognize avian influenza, how it is diagnosed and what to do in the event it is found in North Carolina? Come to our round table. Cases of chronic wasting disease have been confirmed this fall in our neighboring states. Learn how that affects rehabilitators.
Don't miss the case studies. Test your diagnostic skills against some of the common and also some more difficult conditions rehabilitators diagnose.
At the end of the afternoon on Saturday, you can pose questions to a panel of experts during a question-and-answer session.
Visit our website,, for the latest on sessions and speakers. The schedule will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

Wildlife is not permitted in the Education Building at the zoo.

Hampton Inn

A special discounted rate is offered for attendees at the Hampton Inn. Attendees are responsible for making their own reservations.

1137 East Dixie Drive
Asheboro, NC 27203

Symposium Rate: $59.00 per night (up to 4 guests). Continental Breakfast is included. Specify that you are attending the WRNC Symposium.

Banquet Menu
Catered by Timothy's

Wild Mushroom Bisque


Organic greens with tomatoes, red onions, Parmesan cheese and a choice of balsamic vinaigrette or Caesar dressing.
Entrees/Sides: Grilled Flat Iron Steak

Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast
both accompanied with a roasted shallot, red wine
and broth reduction
Vegetable Pasta with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, grape tomatoes and artichokes with olive oil.

Roasted potatoes, sauteed zucchini, squash and corn
Focaccia bread
Dessert: Key Lime pie or chocolate torte
See our website for additional information on the symposium. There is information on the workshops, the hotel and the banquet. Information on additional sessions, speakers and the session schedule will be posted as they are confirmed.


Wanted: Donors
Here's a chance for local merchants to show their generosity. Donations are needed for door prizes and raffle items for the fourth annual WRNC Symposium to be held Jan. 27-29. Ask the shops and stores you frequent if they would be willing to donate any items that can be used for the popular raffle. Tickets for door prizes that will be awarded during the symposium will be given out as part of the registration packet, and tickets for the raffle may be purchased prior to the Saturday evening drawing.
All donations are tax deductible, and receipts for all donated items will be issued for tax records.
Donated items may be brought to the symposium and given to the Raffle Committee Friday or Saturday morning; or they may be sent to Toni O'Neil: 119 Doe Drive, Hubert, NC 28539.
Please let Toni know what you are able to donate, and if you are bringing it or mailing it. All mailed items must be received by Jan. 20.
Proceeds from the raffle are used for WRNC member services and programs.

Need Supplies? Last Chance to Order!
WRNC will offer supplies to members at its next symposium for what it costs us to purchase them. Let us know if there are items you would like to have available that are not listed. We will do what we can to obtain them at the lowest prices possible through discounted and bulk buying. The pricing quoted at right is the cost of purchasing items from us.
Send an e-mail to Beth at if you are interested in purchasing any of the following items, including the desired quantity.
These items can be viewed at
The website doesn't include shipping and handling costs.


  • 5½" rounded point metal tweezers for bird feeding at $1.20 each
  • 7½" bandage scissors at $2.30 each
  • Nitrile gloves (stronger than latex) at $4.30 - $5 for a box of 100
  • Syringes, 20cc, 5cc, 3cc and 1cc
  • Needles, 25g, 22g and 20g
  • Feeding tubes, 3.5 FR, 5 FR
  • Nuts and bolts for carriers
  • (*) Barn owl charts (2) at $7
  • (*) Owl pellet manual, $30
  • (*) Owl pellets, $1.75
  • (*) Charts - dissection, $29

Show Your Stuff at the Symposium
At last year's Symposium we had many wonderful exhibits from wildlife groups and rehabilitation centers. We are inviting you to return and set up a table displaying information about your work with wildlife. You will also be allowed to sell wildlife-related merchandise and gift shop items.
If you did not participate last year, please consider this opportunity for free publicity as well as a chance to make money for your organization.
To reserve a table at the 2006 Symposium, complete both pages of the exhibitors contract. Because of the overwhelming response last year, each group is limited to one table.
We look forward to seeing those who participated last year, as well as some new faces.
The contract for exhibitors is available online at


Developing a disaster plan

Part 1

By Elizabeth Hanrahan

Litters of baby squirrels blown from trees by the winds of a hurricane, animals stranded by flood or attempting to outrun fire, opossums wandering the neighborhood so desperate for food that they refuse to retreat from people, or wildlife looking for a new home, are all scenes that could be played out the next time disaster strikes. The effect on wildlife will depend on the type of disaster, its size and location, but it is reasonable to assume that an impact of some degree will be felt by wildlife and by rehabilitators.
As we have recently learned, it is vital that rehabilitators and rehabilitation facilities prepare for disasters. A lack of planning can significantly increase the magnitude of the disaster for humans as well as the wildlife entrusted to our care. Advanced planning and preparation for potential emergencies allows the wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife rehabilitation organization to reduce damage and downtime. Planning and preparation for a variety of disasters helps assess the impact of each on wildlife and helps determine the potential duration of each type of disaster.
This series of articles will present:

Each segment will include a case study of a disaster.

Quick Check Outline of Wildlife Rehabilitation Disaster Plan

I. Evaluation of the wildlife rehabilitation facility
a. Known dangers to the facility in the area
i. Structure fire
ii. Hurricane
iii. Flood
iv. Hazardous material spill
v. Wildfire
vi. Heat emergencies and blizzard, ice or winter storms
vii. Earthquakes
viii. Tornado
ix. Civil disturbances
x. Other disasters possible in your area
b. Dangers to structure
i. Condition of building
ii. Caging:
1. Indoor caging
2. Outdoor caging
3. Portable caging
iii. Interior "safe" areas
iv. Access to water and electricity during/following emergency
v. Drainage around structures and caging
vi. Trees, equipment around structure and caging
vii. Security of expensive equipment, foodstuffs, and materials
viii. Supplies and access to supplies: rehab supplies, radio, batteries, flashlights, etc.
ix. Hazardous materials
II. Long-term preparations when a disaster is anticipated:
a. Order extra medicines, food, supplies
b. Plan possible evacuation routes
c. Network with other wildlife rehabilitators for transfer of animals or assistance
d. Notify state and national animal/wildlife rehab organizations if assistance is anticipated
III. Insurance
i. Check annually for adequacy
ii. Where is the facility on the floodplain map
iii. House/facility inventory with photos or video
iv. Inventory and photo storage
v. Valuable papers/insurance storage
IV. Specific preparations
a. Secure and label all hazardous materials
b. Secure and close valves of outside tanks
c. Inventory and separate incompatible chemicals
d. Back up computer and make copies of records
e. Copies of computer and rehabilitation records stored at __________________
f. Outside cleared of loose objects
g. Refrigerated/freezer inventory protected
h. Movable inventory packed and protected
i. Vehicles fueled and protected
j. Freezer emptied of carcasses
k. Flammable materials removed
V. Evacuation:
a. Evacuation plan for family/staff
b. Evacuation plan for animals
c. Evacuation locations designated and agreements signed
i. Evacuation location 1.____________________
ii. Evacuation location 2.____________________
d. Plan developed for movable inventory
e. Additional movable caging, food, supplies
f. First-aid kits and medications (animal and human)
g. Radio and flashlights with batteries
h. Medical records (animal and human)
i. Personal items for self/family/staff
j. Security plan for valuable equipment
k. Secure premises:
i. Take identification, licenses, records
ii. Unplug equipment
iii. Shut off electrical breakers, water, gas
VI. After the disaster
a. Safety clothing and equipment:
i. Rubber gloves, boots,
ii. cleaning supplies
b. Check wildlife rehabilitation facility/equipment/supply damage
c. Photograph/document damage if necessary
d. Safety repairs
e. Inventory supplies and equipment
f. Building checked by electrician, etc if necessary
g. Notify family/staff/agencies, etc. of status
VII. Planning for the next disaster:
a. Review and update disaster plan
b. Develop a disaster contact list or telephone-tree
c. Other

Analysis of Types of Disasters

Structure fire - Wildlife rehabilitation facilities should have a structural fire plan. The fire department can provide an assessment as well as suggestions to reduce the chance of fire and help develop escape plans. Fire is the most common threat. Most fires are caused by careless smoking or by electrical malfunction. Fires in nearby buildings can send flames and/or toxic smoke throughout the building.

Hurricane - Fortunately, when hurricanes are forecast in coastal areas there is time for planning and preparation. Most damage is caused by high winds. Additional damage may be caused by windborne debris or falling trees. Heavy rains and storm surge can cause flooding. The tail end of hurricanes can cause unexpected and devastating flash floods.

Flood - Many wildlife rehabilitators may be located in the floodplain for lakes, creeks, or rivers. They should check with their local government to see floodplain maps that show how high water will rise based on the amount of rainfall for a given period. Many of these floodplain maps have recently been revised. Flooding may occur quickly in hilly areas or when dams burst.

Hazardous material spill - Any wildlife rehabilitator or facility near transportation routes for hazardous wastes, chemicals or explosive materials, is at risk for a potential disaster. The threat of contamination may cause authorities to order an evacuation of the area. Plans to evacuate and protect the wildlife in care should be in place and reviewed regularly.

Wildfire - Wildfires can be unpredictable. They threaten wildlife facilities near wooded areas as well as in population centers such as those in Florida several years ago. Evacuations are mandatory and little more than an hour or so of warning is given.

Heat emergencies and blizzard, ice or winter storms - In addition to the concerns caused by extremes in temperatures, the wildlife rehabilitator must be prepared for utility outages. There may also be disruptions in transportation for delivery of animal foods and supplies.

Earthquakes - There are earthquake faults throughout the United States. Everyone should prepare for the possibility of earthquakes.

Tornado - Those wildlife rehabilitation centers in tornado-prone areas should have a safe area to locate people and animals as well as animals in care. There will be wind-driven damage as well as the possibility of utility outages.

Address book
Bottled water and nonperishable food
Cell phone and charger
Change of clothes
Drivers license
Insurance policies and numbers
Laptop and vital disks
List of animal suppliers
NWRA and IWRC directories
Passport/ identification
Personal checks
Personal medications

Animal foods
Basic medications, fluids, syringes
Extra carriers
Extra towels and gloves
Pet dishes
Pet health records
Pet medications
Case Study - Disaster Plan 1
Fire Evacuation

In the summer of 2003, wild fires were raging in widespread areas from Florida to Utah. Though he had smelled smoke for several days, the rehabilitator felt he was in a safe area. In the middle of the night, someone banged on his door. He heard sirens. The law enforcement officer at the door screamed, "Mister, you need to evacuate!" The wildlife rehabilitator asked how much time he had to get things ready. "Fifteen minutes, maybe an hour if you're lucky."
The wildlife rehabilitator did the following:

  • Called a friend about 50 miles from the fire and asked if he and the animals could stay until the fire was out
  • Called two friends with pickups to help transport the animal cages
  • Pulled the two birds from the raptor cage and packed them in carriers
  • Put pets in carriers
  • Put items in plastic carriers with handles to hold supplies and to be used as carriers
    Things he learned from the experience:
  • Keep copies of important papers in a "to go" box at all times.
  • Have a plan

Q. Is there an online forum for WRNC members to communicate with each other?
A. Yes! We have a special listgroup set up on yahoo for WRNC members only. Members may share information, ask questions, network, and get to know one another a bit on this mailing list. To join, members may go to: and request to join the group. (You must include your real name in your request.) OR send an email to:

  We've Gone Electronic   
Our newsletter will be delivered electronically by default from now on. Hardcopies of our newsletter will only be sent to members who do not have computer access. Questions or concerns may be sent to:

Avian Flu: What Rehabbers Need to Know

By Brenda Hiles and Sally Davis
Migratory birds play a major role in transmitting avian flu virus H5N1, but so far, there is no evidence of the disease in the United States. In the past two years, about 120 people have contracted the virus, all of them in Asia. About 60 of them have died, making the strain one of the deadliest in the past century. The virus recently showed up in birds in Romania, evidence that it is moving out of Southeast Asia into China, Russia, Siberia and Eastern Europe.
"We should be doing much more surveillance for avian influenza in migratory birds," said Peter Cowen, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at the College of Veterinary Medicine at N.C. State University. "At first blush, migratory birds appear to be the major means of spread from locations in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan, Novosibirsk, and Lake Qinghai, China to Eastern Europe."
Migratory birds also could spread the disease to North America, either directly from Siberia or indirectly from Eastern Europe to east Africa and from there to west Africa, Cowen said. Migratory routes from west Africa lead to Northern Europe and eventually North America.
People who interact with wildlife are the key to early detection if the influenza does arrive here via migratory birds, he said. In Asia, several species of geese, gulls, swans, cormorants and ducks have died from H5NI virus.
"We don't really know the full host range for present outbreak yet," Cowen said. "The best bet is to follow the movement of the virus in both animal and human populations, keeping abreast of the situation with emerging disease reporting systems like the internet based ProMED-mail ("
Any die-off of migratory birds should be carefully considered and referred to the state veterinarian or a public health director, he said.
Waterfowl, especially duck and shorebirds, are natural reservoirs for H5N1, meaning that they carry the virus but often have clinically inapparent infections. The virus is not passed easily from birds to humans, and there have been no cases at all passed between humans. The danger lies in the virus mutating to a strain that does spread rapidly among humans.
The National Wildlife Health Center is recommending that wildlife rehabilitators continue basic hygiene measures. Rehabilitators may want to wear gloves, face masks and goggles when handling potentially infected birds. Heat kills the virus; regular soap also is effective. Antibacterial hand washes are no more effective than soap and water in killing the virus.
Emily Beeler, a veterinarian with the Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health Department, recommends that rehabilitators get flu shots. The vaccine won't protect against H5N1 but it will reduce the chances of getting the bird flu on top of the regular flu virus.
More information about avian flu can be found at the Office of International Education Web site at

End-of-Year Reports

Please get your end-of-year reports in to WRNC. File existing federal records or print a form at
WRNC will be presenting statistics and other findings based on submitted reports at the next symposium.


Speak up: USFWS Seeks Comments
on Migratory Bird Permits

The USFWS is soliciting public comments to help develop permit regulations governing possession of live migratory birds and eagles for educational use. The comment period ends Dec 12. Instructions for submitting comments are included in the federal notice 50 CFR part 21. The notice contains a detailed discussion of the regulations being considered. You can see the notice at Comments may be sent by e-mail to, or mailed to Division of Migratory Bird Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, MBSP 4107 Arlington, Va. 22203. Include your name and address.
If you have non-releaseable birds used in education programs, this will have a direct impact on you and your ability to keep them. Please take the time, before the law is written, to provide input. Doing so will benefit all individual rehabilitators who use birds in school programs.

Cage Building Grant Proposal

Proposal: A total of $500 was again approved at the WRNC Board meeting for grants. Two $250 grants will be awarded to help defray costs for two current (dues paid) WRNC members to use for cage building. WRNC recommends that these cages be built to meet the IWRC/NWRA Minimum Standards Guidelines.
The WRNC Board of Directors requires several safeguard measures to ensure the money is used for cages. Safeguards include:
1. Three other rehabilitators are required to vouch for the need of the person applying for the grant. They would verify that the person is actively rehabilitating in a medium-to-large volume, known to them as a rehabber in good standing, and holding current state and/or federal licenses. Board members will verify this information by phone calls.
2. The Board may ask for a copy of the applicant's statistical records to use as proof of need.
3. The applicant must sign a promissory note stating that a minimum of 90% of the money will be used only for the building of the cage. [This allows the recipient to use previously purchased materials such as nails, bolts and wire rather than requiring they be purchased just to use the full amount of the grant.]
4. The three people vouching for the applicant will also be required to confirm that the cage has been built. Board members will again verify this by phone.
5. The Board requires that a final color photograph be submitted once the cage has been built. The photo and an article may be used in the next newsletter to publicize the program.
6. The Board requires a copy of the actual receipts for the cage-building supplies, once the cage is completed.
7. A limit of 90 days is standard from the time the check is issued to the time the cage has been completed. Acceptable extenuating circumstances documented in a letter to the Board before the expiration of the 90-day period may result in a formal extension with a new completion date. (There may be extenuating circumstances that are acceptable to extend this period, but it must be put in writing and the Board must be notified of the reason for the delay; a completion date must be set, with the promise to adhere to it.) Failure to comply with the new date will result in the Board asking for the money to be returned so it can be issued to another recipient.

Time Frame:
1. Applications are due Jan.15, 2006.
2. Grant recipients will be selected by the Board of Directors by March 1.
Cage Building Grant Application Form
Name: ___________________________________ Date: ___________________
Address: _________________________________ Phone: ________________
_________________________________________ E-mail: __________________
Are you a WRNC member? Yes _____ No _____
Are you licensed? Federal _____ State _____
How long have you been actively rehabilitating? __________________________________
List the reasons you believe you qualify for this grant, and document your need: ________________________________________________________________________
List three references (rehabilitators); You must include name, address, and phone number. Please indicate if the person is a member of WRNC.
1) ___________________________________________________________________
2) ___________________________________________________________________
3) ___________________________________________________________________
By signing this application I agree that if I am awarded a cage grant I will use monies received exclusively for purposes of building a new pre-release cage (or expanding/repairing an existing cage.) Within 90 days after receiving monies, I will submit copies of dated receipts for materials purchased in an amount not less than 90% of total grant money awarded. Upon completion of the project, I will submit a color picture of the cage.
Signature: _________________________________
Return by Jan. 15 to: Toni O'Neil, WRNC Cage Grant Program, 119 Doe Drive, Hubert, NC 28539

Ice Breaker Meet your fellow rehabilitators at the IceBreaker Friday evening from 7 - 9pm. Refreshments are provided.
There are a variety of exhibits from vendors and non-profits.
WRNC is offering a variety of supplies for purchase at our bulk cost. Stock up and be prepared for baby season.
Case Studies
Test your diagnostic skills.
Cage Building Workshop
Cages built on site.
Necropsy Workshops
Learn how and why to perform a necropsy
Dosage Calculations Workshops
Calculations made easy.
Avian Influenza
Book Display
WRNC has obtained a large selection of books on rehabilitation and other topics. These are on display and available for purchase. Reserve books ahead on our website.


Directory Updates

Have you moved? Has you email address changed? Is your phone number listed incorrectly in the directory?
Send updates to Carla Johnson at