Rehabilitations & Releases

Wildlife Assistance > Rehabilitations and Releases

In 2022, Lakeside Nature Center admitted a record number of animals, reaching 4,261 individuals.

• 3,162 mammals
• 992 birds
• 107 herps (reptiles and amphibians)

The graph below shows the admission trends from 2006 thru 2022. While there has been slight variability from year to year, the past three years have shown an upward trend.

The Nature Center keeps careful records about each animal admitted for rehabilitation. The details of these records are submitted to the Missouri Department of Conservation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

The species are most represented in the hospital (in order of highest numbers).

Cottontail Rabbit. Photo © Missouri Dept. of Conservation

Virginia Opossum. Photo © Susie Harris

Eastern Gray Squirrel. Photo © Juanita Bach

Eastern Cottontail, Virginia Opossum, Eastern Grey Squirrel and Common Raccoon.

American Robin. Photo © Pixabay

Barred Owl. Photo © Pixabay

Mourning Dove. Photo © Pixabay

American Robin, Barred Owl and Mourning Dove.

Ornate Box Turtle. Photo © Missouri Dept. of Conservation

Three-toed Box Turtle. Photo © Missouri Dept. of Conservation

Ornate Box Turtle, closely followed by Cross Box Turtle which is a hybrid of Ornate and 3-Toed Box Turtle.

2022’s new or unique species.

Purple Gallinule. Photo © Pixabay

Each year seems to bring a new or unique species into the hospital. In 2022, probably the most unique intake was of a Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus). This ‘swamphen’ is not naturally occurring in the state of Missouri and would be considered a rare find.

Working to reunite wildlife babies and their families.

A primary goal in wildlife rehabilitation is to take measures to keep animals from coming into the hospital. Lakeside Nature Center has worked diligently the last several years to increase education and awareness to our human community to be able to reunite wildlife babies with their families to keep them together. Even with the increased reuniting successes, over half of the total number of animals brought to the center are babies that need further care from wildlife rehabilitators.

Our rehabilitation and release collaborators.

Release in Tree 1. Photo © Susie Harris

Release in Tree 2. Photo © Susie Harris

Release in Tree 3. Photo © Susie Harris

The Nature Center works with several permitted rehabilitators throughout the state. These facilities and individuals are critical to the success of raising babies for release back to the wild. We couldn’t manage the record intakes that we have without their support and they are greatly appreciated.

Help the effort.

Your support of Lakeside Nature Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation efforts make a difference in wildlife rehabilitation care and releases. Please consider a donation.