Reptiles and Amphibians in Need

Wildlife Assistance > Wildlife in Need > Reptiles and Amphibians in Need

River Cooter in Rehab Hospital. Photo © John Whiteman

Because our permit for rehabilitate and release is restricted to native Missouri animals, Lakeside Nature Center can not accept any animals found out of state. Our partners at Operation Wildlife can assist with animals found in Kansas.

If you find injured or potentially orphaned native Missouri reptile or amphibian, please contact the Nature Center at (816) 513-8960.

Please leave a detailed message and someone will return your call as soon as possible. The Wildlife Hospital is open daily from 9 am – 4:30 pm. Volunteers on night call duty will return calls between 5 pm – 9 pm.

Please do not email for animals that are in need of assistance.

Many species of reptiles and amphibians produce offspring that are self-sufficient, and are able to regulate their body temperatures and forage for themselves immediately after birth, thereby eliminating the need for parental care. Of the Missouri species, all amphibians, turtles, and lizards lay eggs. Of the 47 species of snakes found here, approximately half lay eggs, which the other half give live birth. While we do sometimes have ‘baby’ reptiles that come in to the center, most of them are healthy and have just been displaced by people thinking that they needed assistance. Unless the animal needs assistance with navigating potentially dangerous areas like roads, it is important to leave babies where they are found because it helps them to grow and establish their home ranges.

The vast majority of reptiles and amphibians that come into the Nature Center for care are adults. While some come in because of injuries from cats, dogs, lawn mowers and weed eaters; the majority of the herptiles that are received are turtles, primarily those that have been hit by cars.

More Information

For more information on found retiles and amphibians, go to these sites at Operation Wildlife:

Reptiles and Amphibians.

Turtles in Need.

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