Jul 16, 2022

San Rafael CA & beyond: Precautions. WildCare COURTYARD is closed to VISITORs Due to Detection of #HPAI in #California . The #Wildlife Hospital Remains Open.

----- Forwarded message ----
From: WildCare - Ellyn Weisell <wildcare@discoverwildcare.org>
Date: Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 9:01 AM
Subject: ALERT: WildCare Courtyard Closed to Visitors Due to HPAI Detection in California. Wildlife Hospital Remains Open

CampbellDion_pelican being medicated.PNG

Although we had hoped it wouldn't happen, WildCare has received confirmation that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected in birds in California. The virus has thus far only been detected in Colusa and Glenn Counties, but we anticipate its spread to other counties, including Marin, Sonoma, and San Francisco.

This virus is not considered high risk to humans, but it is extremely contagious and deadly to certain birds including raptors (hawks and owls), corvids (crows, ravens and jays), vultures, waterfowl (ducks and geese), and pelagic and near-pelagic birds (like gulls, and the pelican being medicated in the photo above.)

Out of an abundance of caution, and to protect WildCare's Wildlife Ambassador animals, we have made the decision to close WildCare's Courtyard and Museum to public visitors until further notice.

*NOTE*: WildCare is accepting Wildlife Hospital patients as usual,
9am - 5pm, seven days a week.
 Intake will be done at the front gate. Please wear a mask during the intake process.

Check our website at discoverwildcare.org/HPAI for updated information on Wildlife Hospital intakes and public accessibility.

We at WildCare are saddened at the continued spread of this disease, which is deadly to birds and some mammals, and the impacts it will have on our beloved local wildlife.

The virus is shed in birds' bodily fluids and fecal matter, and can easily be transferred between birds through direct contact (bird to bird), or indirect contact with people and other animals, or objects like water, clothing, shoes, even vehicles that are contaminated with virus particles. The virus can also be transferred to animals that eat infected animals.

Here are a few ways you can help:
1. Although many songbirds do not seem to be heavily impacted by HPAI, corvids like crows and jays are. Please take down birdfeeders and bird baths until further notice.

2. Be extra careful if you have domestic poultry or waterfowl (chickens, turkeys, or ducks.) Have a set of clothes and, most importantly, a change of shoes, that you wear ONLY to interact with your birds. Domestic fowl can both harbor and die from the virus, so preventing cross contamination between your animals and wildlife will help keep all of them healthy.

3. Stay up to date on HPAI, and follow proper protocols when rescuing injured or orphaned wildlife. WildCare's website has resources, instructions for safely rescuing wildlife, and helpful links. As with other viruses, the information on HPAI is constantly evolving and changing. Keep up to date to help protect wild birds.

4. Donate to WildCare. Readying ourselves to protect both our resident Wildlife Ambassador animals and the thousands of avian patients we admit to the Wildlife Hospital is a daunting task! Your donation now will help us handle the advent of HPAI, and be ready for the next emergency when it arrives. Thank you.


Ellyn Weisel
Executive Director
76 Albert Park Lane  | 
San Rafael, CA 94901 |  415-456-7283
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Photo(s) courtesy of: Dion Campbell
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