Reptile & Amphibian Emergency
If you have found an injured reptile or amphibian please contact the Wildlife In Need Center at (262) 965-3090 to discuss the safe capture and transport of that specific species. Not all licensed wildlife rehabilitators are equipped to care for reptiles and/or amphibians, please contact a rehabilitator before transporting an animal to their facility.
If you determine that an amphibian needs help and will need to be transported, remember that frogs, toads and salamanders all need to be kept in a moist environment to prevent them from drying out, but DO NOT submerge them in water. Moisten a paper towel or cloth to keep the animal from dehydrating. Reptiles and amphibians can carrying diseases that humans can get, so please consider wearing gloves when handling the animal. Always be sure to wash your hands after handling any wild animal.
Turtles that are about to lay eggs often cross roads to find soil suitable for nesting. These turtles are often hit by motor vehicles on the roadway by drivers who don’t see them in time to avoid them. Be on the lookout for turtles on the roadway, especially during the months of May and June. Take extra caution if you assist a snapping turtle across a road. Snapping turtles can be large, heavy, have a very long mobile neck and can bite very hard. To protect yourself, use a shovel or board to scoop up and carry the turtle, or use a rake or sturdy stick to push and scoot a snapping turtle, across the road. If a reptile or amphibian is crossing the road and does not appear injured please move the animal off the road in the direction that it is moving, even if you do not see water on the side of the road they were heading. They may be a female going to lay eggs. If you turn them around, they will turn around once you leave and be back in the road, in danger.
If the reptile or amphibian crossing the road is injured, please VERY CAREFULLY contain the animal and transport to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Remember, your safety is the most important factor. Do not unnecessarily put yourself or others at risk for injury while attempting to rescue or capture an animal, especially if it is in the road.
For more specifics on handling various reptiles and amphibians please contact the Wildlife In Need Center.
Turtles, unlike mammal or bird infants, are completely on their own from hatching. If you find a baby turtle, do not feed it. Transport the the baby to the nearest body of water to release. For more natural history information on Wisconsin reptiles and amphibians, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Reptiles and Amphibians page. Remember, your safety is the most important factor. Do not unnecessarily put yourself or others at risk for injury while attempting to rescue or capture an animal, especially if it is in the road.