By participating in our annual Wild Foster Program
you will make a lasting impact on wildlife preservation. Many of
the animals that arrive at Woodlands Wildlife Refuge are the result
of direct or indirect human interference. You will help us continue
to give the best care possible to the more than 1000 wild patients
we admit each year. These precious and wild animals need our collective
By fostering a wild species in your name or as
a thoughtful gift for someone, you help us to continue our mission
of rehabilitating and releasing orphaned and injured wild animals,
educating the public about those animals and creating a better understanding
about the natural environment where people and animals can exist
in harmony. Foster the animal(s) of your choice and know you are
helping to give wildlife a second chance!
the animal you would like to foster for more info
Our Education Ambassadors
Your gift is tax-deductible and you will
receive: a foster certificate, photograph, you animal's natural
history and its life at Woodlands, a foster decal and bookmark.
If you choose, you can opt out of receiving
Foster a Squirrel
Orphaned and injured squirrels come to Woodlands
in great numbers as a result of tree removal or mothers being trapped
and removed. Injuries result from encounters with cats, dogs, and
cars. Squirrel care may last from 4 to 12 weeks. New Jersey is home
to 3 species of squirrels: red, grey, and flying.
Foster a Rabbit
Orphaned and injured eastern cottontail rabbits are one of the more
common patients at Woodlands. They arrive most often after being discovered
and caught by dogs and cats; however, lawn mowing, garden preparation,
and construction sites are often the cause as well. Their care may
last 2 to 4 weeks, but the rabbit, being such a timid animal, is one
of the most difficult we work with.
Orphaned and injured bats arrive at Woodlands most often when found
dislodged during home renovations or repairs. Their care may last
4-16 weeks. New Jersey is home to 9 species of bats, including the
endangered Indiana bat. These true insectivores are one the most
beneficial wildlife species.
Orphaned and injured opossums arrive at all ages, most commonly
due to mothers being killed by cars or caught by dogs. Their care
may last from 2 to 16 weeks, and, being North America's only marsupial,
they are one of the more unusual patients we tend to.
Orphaned skunks arrive for care at Woodlands most often after mothers
have been trapped and removed and/or killed, as well as becoming
victims of construction or renovation sites. Their care may last
from 4 to 10 weeks. Skunks will only spray when defending their
lives. Their appetite for insects such as slugs and grubs make them
more beneficial than most would think.
Injured turtles of many species arrive for care at Woodlands. Cars
and lawnmowers are the predominant reasons. Their care may last
from 1 week to 1 year. New Jersey is home to 11 species of turtles,
including the endangered bog turtle and the threatened wood turtle.
Orphaned and injured foxes are regular wild patients at Woodlands.
They are most often orphaned due to parents being killed by cars;
however, it is also common for ill foxes to arrive with mange, a
parasitic skin infestation which can be easily treated. Their care
may last from 4 to 12 weeks. New Jersey is home to both red and
Raccoons are a frequent patient at Woodlands. The most common reason
they arrive is due to trees being cut down or mothers being trapped
out of buildings, relocated, or killed. Most often, it is only after
the removal of the mothers that orphaned infants are discovered.
Their care may last from 2 to 28 weeks. Raccoons' intelligence and
dexterity enable them to be extremely opportunistic while foraging
a Black Bear
The largest of our wild patients, black bears, are orphaned and
injured most commonly by cars; however, from time to time, and for
human safety, unusually aggressive females must be euthanized and
their cubs subsequently orphaned. Most often, this is a result of
humans unnecessarily providing food. Woodlands is the only facility
in New Jersey licensed to care for this species. Bears require special
housing and their care may last from 4 to 60 weeks. As our largest
wild neighbor, their diet is 80% herbivorous, 10% insectivorous,
and 10% meat.
River otters are rare patients at Woodlands. They arrive orphaned
or injured by cars. As the only facility in New Jersey licensed
to work with river otters, we are thankful for this opportunity.
Care lasts 4 weeks to 1 year.
New Jersey's endangered bobcat is a rare patient at Woodlands. They
have arrived having been hit by cars or orphaned for unknown reasons.
Their care may last from 4 to 36 weeks. As the only facility in
New Jersey licensed to work with bobcats, we are thankful to have
the opportunity to release these very special animals back to the
wild. The endangered status of the bobcat makes this one of New
Jersey's most elusive species.
"Helen" ~Special Care Permanent Resident~ Eastern Gray Squirrel
The grey squirrel is a common species in New Jersey. Helen arrived
in 2008 as a single orphan. During her rehabilitation it was discovered
that she was deaf. Her disability made her non-releasable since
she would not be able to hear predators. As a permanent resident
she helps teach people about disabilities in wildlife.
"Lady Jane" ~Special Care Permanent Resident~ Canadian Lynx
The Canadian lynx is indigenous to the northern United States and
Canada. During a law enforcement raid, this lynx was found (with
many other wild animals) in a harness in a hotel room. Her physical
exam showed the harness to be embedded in her skin and that she
had been declawed on all four feet. As a permanent resident, located
near our education center, Lady Jane's sad story helps educate the
public why wild animals should not be sold or kept as pets and belong
only in the wild.
"Roomba" ~Special Care Permanent Resident~ Sulcata Tortoise
Sulcata tortoises are indigenous to the African dessert but are
sold in many places as "pets". At 2 inches, the animal may seem
like a great pet, but they grow to be 2-3 feet and may weigh 180
pounds. Many are "released" or escape in areas in which they cannot
survive. Roomba was found wandering on a New Jersey golf course.
His condition showed that his diet had been insufficient for a very
long time. As a permanent resident, Roomba will live his life out
in captivity helping to teach respect for wildlife of all kinds.
"Tank" ~Special Care Permanent Resident~ Eastern Box Turtle The eastern box turtle is very common in New Jersey. These turtles
have a very limited home range in which everything is biologically
perfect for that "community" of turtles. Very often, turtles are
"rescued" and released elsewhere, thus upsetting the biological
balance of other turtle "communities". Tank came to Woodlands after
being "rescued" from an unknown area and kept in an aquarium tank
by two different families for over a year. As a permanent resident
at Woodlands he helps educate the public about the habits and fragile
habitats of local wildlife.
"Buddy" ~Special Care Permanent Resident~ Raccoon The raccoon is a common species in New Jersey. Buddy was found
exhibiting overly 'friendly' behavior. He arrived with no prior
history, but it is believed he may have been habituated at an early
age. Buddy's story helps to educate the public about why wild animals
should not be kept as pets.
"Jewel" ~Special Care Permanent Resident~ Diamondback Terrapin
Jewel was found in a parking lot away from any natural habitat for
her species. Due to her unknown history she was non-releasable.