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Wildlife rehab center sees jump in displaced animals after recent storms in Utah

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NORTHERN UTAH -- Fallout from the round of storms this past week continues, and one organization says they've been working around the clock to take care of displaced wild animals.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah takes in wild animals that won't survive on their own. In the past week, the number of animals in their care has jumped due to the severe storms and downed trees.

A concerned citizen brought in a loon on Sunday, believed to have been trapped by the rain storm.

The bird got added to the nearly 260 animals that call the center their temporary home.

“If we leave them out in the wild, they would die,” said Buz Marthaler, Chairman of the board of directors for WRCNU.

He said during the last week they’ve seen a jump in birds, rabbits and squirrels coming through their doors.

“When storms come through, they knock a lot of nests out of trees,” he said. “Most of the ones we took in the last week were babies. Babies can't survive without their parents feeding them, keeping them warm.”

A nest full of newly hatched magpies and a variety of young owls along with a cotton-tailed bunny and flying squirrel were all among the rescued animals.

These animals may be tiny, but taking care of them is no small feat.

Take the feeding schedule, for example: “Songbirds, it's every 45 minutes for 12 to 14 hours a day,” Marthaler said.

It could be three months before these animals get released back into the wild, but Marthaler knows, without the center, these little ones wouldn't have survived the week full of storms.

Marthalar says they normally see a jump in animals they take in this time of year, and the storms certainly didn't help.

The center is looking for volunteers, and help with funding. For more information, visit their website.