Save the Foxes

Help us save our foxes from mange

The end of 2016 has brought an outbreak of mange among our local foxes, particularly focused around the Park Point neighborhood in Duluth. Red foxes are particularly susceptible to mange, a parasitic infestation that causes hair loss, intense discomfort, and leads to many secondary issues that will cause death if left untreated. We need a 1,200 square foot enclosure to make sure all the foxes admitted to our facility have a comfortable area to recover. The area we currently have is far too small for the number of foxes we have been seeing. Will you donate to our Fox Healing Area fund?

Donate to the Foxes

Some facts about mange

  • Sarcoptic scabiei, the parasite that causes mange, is also known as scabies
  • It is a host-adapted species. That is, if a mite finds its way from your dog to you, it can bite and cause some discomfort, but it can’t reproduce and continue the cycle. A mite transferred from a fox to your dog, however, will generally multiply and cause full-blown mange
  • Overpopulation and poor nutrition are contributing factors to mange outbreaks. Citizens can help guard against this by not feeding wild animals.
  • Because the discomfort from the burrowing mites is so intense, animals can lose interest or ability in hunting or finding food, leading to starvation, a further compromised immune system, and eventually death
  • Mange medication should only be prescribed and administered by trained professionals
This fox is suffering from a severe case of mange
Mange causes thick scabs to form on the skin, hair loss, and swelling around the eyes
Fox receiving eye medication
This fox requires eye medications to manage a secondary symptom of mange
Red fox on the mend from mange
After a few weeks of medication and care, the fox is looking much better, and will soon be ready for release


Pigeons are kind, loyal and very smart birds

A constant presence

At Wildwoods pigeons are constant companions, seeming to need rescuing all year long. As I write this we have several pigeons ranging in age from nestling to adult and most of them are with us as a result of human ignorance or cruelty. Over the past few months we’ve had pigeons with bullet holes come to us, oil-covered pigeons, poisoned pigeons, and baby pigeons that had been thrown off roofs.

Of course, for every story of a pigeon being treated badly, there is a story of people going out of their way to help these creatures. We rely on the public to bring us animals in need and every pigeon in our care was brought to us by a compassionate person who didn’t want the bird to suffer. We (and the pigeons) are so grateful for those individuals! Continue reading “Pigeons”

Two Hawks Need a Ride ASAP

Update: Thanks to super-star transport volunteer Elda these hawks have found a ride.

Help! This Red-tailed Hawk (left) and Goshawk (right) need a ride from Wildwoods in Duluth to the Raptor Center at the U of M in St. Paul ASAP. Can you offer them a ride in a quiet, pet-free car? Call us at 218-491-3604 for details. Please do not email or message us on Facebook as we are not always by the computer. Calling is the best way to go.


sick Red-tailed Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
Sick Northern Goshawk
Northern Goshawk

Hummingbird’s Dinner

This hummingbird was brought to us by the McGovern family who found it in their yard, unable to fly. If you look closely you can see it’s little tongue flick in and out as it eats specially formulated nectar to help it get back on it’s feet, er, wings.

Great Blue Heron

When this juvenile Great Blue Heron came in he was skinny and too weak to stand. After fluids and a tube feeding of an easy-to-digest diet made for fish-eating birds, he looked much better. It will still be touch and go with him for a while. However, he is off to a good start!

Staff members have to be extremely careful with herons who have sharp beaks, and, as you can see, defend themselves adeptly with them! They use their dagger-like bills to stab fish when they’re hunting. For more information on Great Blue Herons, visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel

An Eastern Gray Squirrel forages for tree nuts to stash away for the winter

Eastern grays are ubiquitous in Minnesota. They are everywhere and are one of the few species that thrive in the midst of urban sprawl. For some people squirrels are seen as pests, running around inside the walls of their house and stealing bird seed out of feeders. For others they are seen as cute, bouncy, fun-to-watch critters. To those of us at Wildwoods they are valuable members of our ecosystem and one of the most common critters admitted as orphans (and one of the most fun to care for).

Reproduction happens twice a year for squirrels, with babies appearing around May and August. This year, however, things seem to be happening a little sooner and we just admitted our first “round 2” orphaned Eastern Gray Squirrels.

These three "pinky" gray squirrels were recently admitted to Wildwoods as orphans
These three “pinky” gray squirrels were recently admitted to Wildwoods as orphans

Continue reading “The Eastern Gray Squirrel”