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SPCA Tampa Bay sees spike in wildlife brought to its facility during the COVID-19 pandemic

Owl 2
Squirrel baby
baby birds held by SPCA Tampa Bay staff member
Opossums in hammock
Posted at 1:54 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 05:57:41-04

LARGO, Fla. — People are bringing more wildlife to the SPCA Tampa Bay's facility this spring.

Wind always plays a factor for baby birds during the spring because they may be knocked of their nests. However, the shelter is seeing double the amount of wildlife in 2020 than they did last year.

"We are really lucky that we just built a new enclosure to do some more on-sight rehab," explains Martha Boden, CEO of SPCA Tampa Bay. "So I think what might be happening is more people at home and not following their normal routine are coming across wildlife more regularly and that means they're finding wildlife in distress."

During this time, the SPCA says they are seeing baby opossums, blue jays, bunnies and baby screech owls coming in to their Largo location.

It is important to first give them a call if you find a baby animal in distress. Mothers will often come back to take care of the baby and the SPCA Tampa Bay can walk you through the process.

With their new rehabilitation location, the shelter is able to take care of more animals on-sight rather than transfer them to different facilities.

"We're reducing the amount of time an animal may need to be transferred from where it was injured to our facility to somewhere else. So, the less they are transferred they better," explains Boden.

Click here to read more about the SPCA Tampa Bay and their wildlife rehab and click here to read more about how the shelter is dealing with COVID-19.