Where the (Injured) Wild Things Were

Tufts Wildlife Clinic reports another record year for number of cases, seeing more than 4,000 patients in 2018
a barred owl in recovery at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic
Barred owl admissions to Tufts Wildlife Clinic in 2018 were more than double that in 2017—and triple what they were five years before. “We actually have a ‘Number of Days Since Last Barred Owl’ on our whiteboard, said Cassandra Holden. Photo: Anna Miller
January 10, 2019


Given that a group of owls is called a parliament, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine should have passed all sorts of legislation in 2018. Its veterinarians saw an unprecedented 172 barred owls last year—along with 31 great-horned owls, 29 eastern screech owls, 19 snowy owls, and 6 northern saw-whet owls.

The year 2018 was again an extremely busy one for Tufts Wildlife Clinic, said Cassandra Holden, who manages the intake of wild patients at Cummings School. For the third year running, Tufts Wildlife Clinic saw a record number of wildlife cases, treating a total of 4,211 patients in 2018—an increase of 13 percent over the previous year’s caseload. Many creatures required care from the clinic, including a murder of crows, a knot of snakes, a skulk of foxes, and a fluffle of rabbits.

Patients brought in by good Samaritans, police and animal control officers, and state wildlife officials in 2018 reflected the following diverse species. Animals seen at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic are treated without charge.


The Wildlife Clinic saw four injured bobcats in 2018. Photo: Whitney Stiehler795 eastern cottontail rabbits
318 eastern gray squirrels
196 Virginia opossums
77 eastern chipmunks
20 North American porcupines
17 red foxes
15 flying squirrels (southern and northern)
8 fishers
8 weasels (long-tailed and short-tailed)
7 American black bears
6 eastern coyotes
5 common muskrats
4 bobcats
4 North American beavers
3 gray foxes
1 American red squirrel
1 American mink


A kestrel on its way to recovery. Photo: Alonso Nichols223 American robins
172 barred owls
142 red-tailed hawks
60 American crows
54 Cooper’s hawks
31 great-horned owls
30 northern cardinals
29 eastern screech owls
29 broad-winged hawks
21 great blue herons
21 downy woodpeckers
19 snowy owls
17 ruby-throated hummingbirds
12 peregrine falcons
11 American kestrels
11 red-shouldered hawks
9 bald eagles
6 northern saw-whet owls
3 common loons
2 great egrets


Intern Ashley Kramer holds a slithery patient at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic.  Photo: Anna Miller63 painted turtles
31 common snapping turtles
24 diamondback terrapins
17 common garter snakes
6 Blanding’s turtles
4 eastern box turtles
4 spotted turtles
3 striped skinks
3 northern water snakes
3 eastern milk snakes
1 Dekay’s brown snake
1 northern red-bellied cooter
1 wood turtle
1 spiny softshell turtle
1 common musk turtle


4 American toads
2 green frogs
1 gray treefrog

If you would like to aid the Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in covering the costs of these treatments, you may give online. If you have found orphaned, injured or sick wildlife, you can call 508-839-7918 or visit https://wildlife.tufts.edu/to get advice on what to do next.

Genevieve Rajewski can be reached at genevieve.rajewski@tufts.edu.