The main goal of the BACK TO THE WILD wildlife rehabilitation center is to return recovered wildlife back into the wild. This goal is accomplished by capturing and transporting an injured, orphaned or displaced animal to the center; performing a physical exam to determine its injuries; nursing it back to health through medical treatment, correct diet and housing; conditioning it for release; and finally, releasing the animal into a suitable habitat. There are many things to consider before a wild animal can be safely released.

The facilities of the BACK TO THE WILD center are aligned to facilitate this process from the moment the center receives a telephone call from a distressed person who has suddenly encountered a wildlife crisis. This call sets off a chain of events that culminates in the animal being rescued by volunteer staff at BACK TO THE WILD. Volunteers are trained to assist in safely capturing the injured animal to ensure minimum stress to the animal, and safety for the rescuer.

Injured animal recovered and brought to BACK TO THE WILD.

When the center is unable to respond, due to several calls coming in at once, we may ask the caller to assist us by bringing the animal to the center. This is only advised when the caller is willing to take necessary precautions for both themselves and the animal.

At the center, the animal is cared for immediately by being warmed, examined for broken bones, eye injuries, parasites, infections and emaciation. Injections and fluids are given, when necessary, and the animal is then isolated in a dark, quiet place to reduce stress. As they improve, they are moved to recovery cages located away from human traffic and noise. Orphan babies often need the warmth and comfort of others of its own species and are often added to litters already being cared for, but first, new arrivals must be checked for diseases, parasites and other problems. A period of quarantine time is necessary.


When it has been determined that an animal is physically able to survive in the wild and the weather and other natural conditions are appropriate, the animal is released to the wild. Most animals are not simply released at the location of BACK TO THE WILD, but rather, taken to an appropriate habitat, where they have the best possible chance for survival, and released there.

Snowy Owl released at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.

Snowy Owl released at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. Click the photo to read a story of this Snowy Owl's rescue, rehabilitation, and release.

Great Blue Heron released at the beach.

Great Blue Heron released at the beach.

bird released

Bird released in farmland and adjacent woodlots.

bird released

Bird released in farmland and adjacent woodlots.

Miscellaneous release photos.

If you know of an injured or orphaned animal, please consult our instructions for what to do. You need to be sure that an animal is, indeed, an orphan and not still under the care of its parent.



It is easy to mistake UNATTENDED baby wild animals as "abandoned". Please watch from a distance and evaluate the situation. If you are unsure, call a rehabilitation center before removing them from their nest. In many cases, the mother is nearby, feeding or hunting for her young and will return when she feels it is safe to approach her nest. Even if you've mistakenly rescued a nest of babies, it is possible to REUNITE baby wild animals with their parent. In many cases, the mother will accept them back, even if you have touched them.

Do not plan on raising baby wild animals on your own. Young wildlife require special diets and care beyond what the average household is prepared to manage. Wildlife rehabilitators are fully licensed by both state and federal agencies, are able to provide proper diets, housing, and medical attention, and are adequately trained to care for and prepare an animal for survival and return to the wild.

If you are aware of a wild animal which you think needs assistance, you may contact BACK TO THE WILD by telephone at 419-684-9539.

The center is located east of Castalia, Ohio at 4504 Bardshar Road. The center is about three miles south of the State Route 2 and State Route 101 intersection. Take SR 101 south about one mile to the intersection with Bardshar Road. Go south on Bardshar about two miles to the center.
(Castalia is about five miles southwest of Sandusky, Ohio.)

Return to the Description of the Center
or to the Back To The Wild Programs
or to the Back To The Wild Educational Building page.

Return to BACK TO THE WILD Home Page.

BACK TO THE WILD wildlife rehabilitation center in Castalia, Ohio.

BACK TO THE WILD home page URL is:

This was last modified on April 17, 2009.

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