New England Wildlife Center
Preserving New England's Wild Legacy
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By: Katrina Bergman


Halloween 148

The Night of a Thousand Faces is back!


When:  Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.  The cost is $7 per person.

                                    Where:  New England Wildlife Center, 500 Columbian Street, South Weymouth, MA 02190     Phone:  781-682-4878   

                                    What:  Walk the Nature Trails with Hundreds of Lit Pumpkins.   Animal  Presentations.   Candy Apples.  Cotton Candy.                                      Celebrate  Raccoons.       Music.


Want to help Carve Pumpkins?  Please give us a call – we need you – or just show up!  Oct 21, 22, 23 and 24  from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm.  You can also drop off carved pumpkins on those dates.  There will be pumpkins here but you can also BYOP to carve – the more the better!




DSC_0554 (1024x680)                   piratetrailpic500pixraccooncuddle


By: Jack Banagis
Close up of Healed Goose. - Copy

canada goos

On August 1st 2013 the New England Wildlife Center’s hospital admitted a Canada Goose who was shot through the head with an archery arrow.  He was rescued and transported to the New England Wildlife Center by the Animal Rescue League of Boston.  The Canada Goose was alert and conscious, but he was malnourished and had no use of his jaw.  Dr. Mertz successfully removed the arrow and packed the wound with surgical padding to prevent further necrosis of the skin. Fortunately, the arrow did not damage any major nerves or muscles in his face and he retained full mobility of his head and jaw.   After three and a half weeks of rehabilitative care, medication and nutritional support he is healthy enough to be released back to the wild.

Close up of Healed Goose. - Copy

The release will take place at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at a pond near the Ellis Haven Camp Ground in Plymouth, MA .  Katrina Bergman, the Center’s executive director said “We are particularly excited that the Canada Goose will be released back to the pond where his mate and goslings are.  It is critical that we as a society protect the most vulnerable among us.   Providing medical care to wildlife caught in harm’s way is just the right thing to do.”

The Center receives no tax payer funds and relies solely on individual donations.  We are the only wildlife hospital and education center in the metro-Boston area.  Please visit our front page to make a donation today!  We need everyone’s help.

By: Katrina Bergman
canada goos

canada goos

Last Friday, New England Wildlife Center received a particularly bizarre case from Plymouth….

This Canada goose was admitted after he was found with an arrow protruding from his head. Our veterinarians were able to remove the arrow without causing further damage to the goose. Since his surgery he has been put on a regiment of antibiotics and pain medications to prevent infection and to keep him comfortable. The wound is being treated using a wet-to-dry procedure which involves filling the wound with a paste that clings to debris inside the wound as it dries.

The paste is then pulled out which cleans the wound and aids in preventing infection. We are currently in the process of removing the paste today to check on the goose’s progress. We will be continuing this treatment for a few weeks until the wound has completely healed. The goose is strong and active, he is eating well and is starting to look healthier. We are cautiously optimistic that he will be released back into the wild once his injuries fully heal.

This story has caught a lot of attention and has been printed in multiple newspapers and given a segment on local news. If you wish to read, hear or watch these stories we have links to some of the articles here;

By: Katrina Bergman

 Come on down to New England Wildlife Center tomorrow morning -Saturday, April 20-

snapperStarting at 10 am, come and  “Paint the Patients” with Eleanor Whitney.  Eleanor is the Center’s volunteer resident artist.  Join her in painting our windows with pictures of animals, the out-of-doors or anything else you can think of.  Everyone is welcome…and it is free!  

By: zak
Categories: Education | 11 Comments
A Babay Eastern Grey Squirrel gets his morning feeding in the Center's Quiet Baby Ward

A Babay Eastern Grey Squirrel gets his morning feeding in the Center’s Quiet Baby Ward


We’ve turned the corner into April and Baby season is beginning right on time. Each spring hundreds of species of wildlife in New England give birth to their young, and soon our hospital will be flooded with baby squirrels, raccoons, opossums, songbirds, eastern cottontails, and many other young critters. This means it’s all hands on deck for our hospital staff and interns who will be charged with administering meds, cleaning cages, and of course the round the clock feeding regiments.




“It is a lot of work, but it’s a great learning experience and working with baby animals has been very rewarding.”

says hospital Intern Sarah, who is currently perusing her Undergraduate degree from Boston University.

This spring and summer the Center will treat hundreds of sick, injured, and orphan babies, from all over New England and when they are ready we will release them back to their native environments. This is an especially exciting time of year for us and we encourage people to come tour our facility and learn about these little critters first hand. Thank you for your interest and support, and don’t forget to check our calendar for upcoming events and programs.


If You Find a Wild Animal check out this link for more information

By: zak












Rock Salt is the most commonly used method for melting that pesky winter ice that builds up on our roads, driveways, and front stoops. It’s cheap n’ easy to apply and frankly it does a darn good job, but before you go out and douse your driveway to keep Santa from taking a nasty spill this year, there’s a few things you should know. Rock salt is a very corrosive and concentrated substance, which can cause problems for your local plants, animals, and waterways. Not to mention it can do pretty serious number on your paintjob.

What’s that you say? It’s just salt which exist in nature anyways, so what’s the big deal??  well….you’re right. Rock salt is essentially just large chunks of sodium chloride minerals, the same stuff you used to salt those holiday cookies, but the danger comes in the amount not from the chemical makeup. In nature it’s all over the place. It’s in the soil, the air, the ocean, heck humans are made of about 1% salt, but it always subscribes to a natural balance. When you dump a large input of salt into a system that is not equipped to deal with it, it can upset the balance and cause real problems for plants and animals.

So here’s where it becomes your problem. Salt is water soluble, meaning that it dissolves into water and becomes a component of the fluid. It then can flow with the water wherever it is headed and ends up wherever the topography flattens out. When you use it to melt ice in your driveway it does just that, and flows off of your impermeable driveway until it gets absorbed or pools somewhere flat. Now this is troublesome because most often driveways are designed on a down slope to allow excess water to runoff of them. This means that the salty water will either runoff onto your lawn, or into the street where it will continue flowing into a storm drain, culvert, or water feature.

If it ends up in your lawn, its pretty much game over for your grass. The salty water is absorbed into the soil which lowers the PH making the soil more acidic, which inhibits nutrient and water transfer to the plants that grow there.  It’s just like if you eat too much salty popcorn and have to drink more fluids to balance yourself out. When excess salt is present plants need more water to compensate which they may not be able to get. Additionally, the animals that depend on eating your lawn to survive also get the short end of the stick. They are left either with no food, or the food they do get is very high in salt which can cause health problems, namely salt poisoning. Salt is also an irritant, especially in high concentrations, which means pets and wildlife with pads on the bottoms may get superficial burns.

So now lets say that your property is safe from salt damage and you’re one of those households whose excess water drains directly into the street, you’re off the hook right? Sorry, no such luck. When salient water flows onto an impermeable surface like the street it just keeps on trucking until it either gets absorbed and ruins some other poor saps lawn, or it makes its way into some sort of storm water drainage infrastructure, be it a drain, culvert, drainage ditch, river, stream or something of the like. Now as we know many of these outlets feed directly into freshwater systems like the local river or stream in an effort to prevent flooding and dilute pollution inputs.  The funny thing about salt and freshwater is that a very small concentration of sodium chloride can have an un-proportionally large effect on water quality. It only takes a pinch, no pun intended, to degrade water past the point where it is no longer safe for consumption. So when you get a whole community salting their driveways and the runoff is coagulating in the same drainage systems it can really cause some serious damage.  So come springtime when everything starts flowing again, plants and wildlife that use streams as drinking and food sources are heavily impacted.

So now you’re probably thinking, “great now I feel bad, but I still don’t have a solution to my ice problem”…    Well have no fear; there are a number of environmentally friendly ice melters that will do the trick. As this issue has gained more notoriety in recent years, people have developed all sorts of new commercial solutions to take care of the problem without angering the local Raccoon population. Here at the Wildlife Center we came up with our own home-brew to melt ice using things we found in our freezer, and it works pretty well if I do say so myself. Check out the video link for our recipe, and have a good winter.


Rock Salt

By: Katrina Bergman

In honor of Raccoon Nation.  A salute…as they preparefor release back to the wild this week.  

By: Katrina Bergman
Categories: Education | Add a Comment


In case you missed it, here is the link to watch the New England Wildlife Center’s ‘Odd Pet Vet’, which was part of a segment about exotic pets appearing last week on Chronicle WCVB Channel 5.

By: Katrina Bergman




The Night of A Thousand Faces Halloween Event was a tremendous success.  Thank you to the 2,000 people that came, waited and walked the lit pumpkin path.  Below are some terrific halloween articles in the Patriot Ledger about the event.

Night of A Thousand Faces – 2000 walk the woods

Oh, what a night – great photos of pumpkins!

By: Katrina Bergman
pumpkin carvers

Thank you Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department for donating 200 pumpkins!  Staff and volunteers picked, gathered and drove those bad boys back to the Center where scouts started carving them up.

Thank you to Lambert’s of Pembroke for donating 30 pumpkins and thank you to everyone of you who donated or helped us collect 40o beautiful orange pumpkins for this weekend’s Night of A Thousand Faces – 10th annual Halloween Event.  

The event is 6-8 both Friday and Saturday – come see the pumpkins lit through the forest, eat cookies, roast marshmallows, sip cider, and see wildlife.  Tickets only $5 per person.  The weather is going to be awesome!  Directions are here on the website.

By: Greg Mertz, DVM

Photo: Here he is, looks so much better doesn't he?  He is going into his eigth week with us and he is doing great. </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>This young coyote is set for release next week, and will be undergoing his last round of treatments over the next few days.<br /><br /><br /><br /> As you can see, he has regrown all of the fur he lost on his face and back, and has become much more alert and attententive. </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Veterinarians and vet staff are continuing to give him nutritional support so that he is at a healthy weight for his return to the wild. Tonight's menu? - a mixed fruit plate (coyotes are omnivores after all, and blueberries are his favorite) topped with some chickens and a savory baby mouse garnish, delicious no?


I wanted to let you all know that the adolescent Coyote we’ve been treating in the hospital was successfully released yesterday! After a two month recovery at the Center he was given a clean bill of health and was discharged back into the wild. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife issued the Coyote an eartag to help them track  and better understand the biology and behavior of these amazing animals. Thanks to all the hardwork and support from the New England Wildlife Center community this guy is back at home tonight happy and healthy, Thank you all so much!



By: Katrina Bergman

Ready to Roll!

Hey all, I wanted to give you a progress update on the Cotote we have in the hospital. He is going into his eigth week with us and  he is doing great! He is set for release next week, and will be undergoing his last round of treatments over the next few days.

He has regrown all of the fur he lost on his face and back, and he has become much more alert and attententive. Veterinarians and vet staff are continuing to give him nutritional support so that he is at a healthy weight for his return to the wild.

Coyote with Sarcoptic Mange – 8 weeks ago

By: Katrina Bergman

This turtle spends hours of every day looking at his right front leg.  Why?

By: Katrina Bergman

New England Wildlife Center has a collaborative education program with the Norfolk Agricultural High School (Norfolk Aggie).  Six years ago the program began as an initiative between the Center, Norfolk Agricultural High School, Mass Bay Community College and Massachusetts General Hospital.  Each year the Center’s veterinarians and Norfolk Aggie teachers interview students enrolled in their animal science program who are interested in participating in this six week long hands-on internship.  Students must submit resumes, interview and follow up with thank you letters.  In May and June, students spend six weeks at the Center working inside our hospital alongside our undergraduate students, veterinary technicians and veterinarians.

According to Norfolk Agricultural teacher, Diane, the Center experience reinforces the information that is taught to them in the classroom, and teaches them things that can only be learned through hand-on experience.  “The students love learning all the procedures that allow for the proper rehabilitation of animals and they also enjoy learning how to educate others about wildlife and their own roles in the process of keeping them safe.” she says “New England Wildlife Center’s philosophies and care of wildlife reflect the school’s beliefs.”

Norfolk Agricultural High School enjoys their experience here because of our openness toward education.  The Center strives to see these students learn from their time here and educate others about what they’ve learned.

Posted by Student, Jack Banagis

By: Katrina Bergman

Doing Great!

Hey all, wanted to give you an update on the Coyote we have in the hospital. This little guy has made a lot of progress since mid-August and his condition has improved dramatically. He is recovering from a severe case of Sarcoptic Mange as well as a bacterial infection and malnutrition.

This coyote teen has been receiving a regiment of antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs as well as nutritional support to help him get back to a healthy weight. As you can see from the picture his mange has mostly cleared and the fur on his face is re-growing nicely. He is much more active and alert and has regained his appetite.

He will be receiving his 3rd round of treatments this week and we are cautiously optimistic that he will be healthy enough to return to the wild by the middle of October. Thank you all for your concern and we will keep you posted on his progress.


By: Katrina Bergman


Helping a Hawk Fly Free Again –

Dr. Adamski works with New England Wildlife Center technicians and student interns to repair a red-tailed hawk’s feathers.  This red-tail was admitted to the Center, unable to fly, with severely damaged feathers.  The procedure they are performing to help this hawk fly again is called imping.  Imping is the process of taking feathers from a deceased “donor bird” and epoxying them into the feather shafts of a live bird, who is in need of feather repair.  

In order to complete this procedure, our staff and interns bought a live bamboo plant and cut strips from the woody portion of the plant.  These strips were then dried over night and pressed between two pieces of construction paper with two heavy books placed on top.  During the procedure, it was these bamboo strips that were inserted into the shaft of the donor feather and then into the shaft of the patient.  

These feathers will help this red-tailed hawk fly again and will remain intact until she molts.  In this case, the “donor” red-tail hawk arrived dead at New England Wildlife Center after being shot. The hawk in the video is the patient who is receiving the donated feathers.  She is now doing very well and will be released.

By: Katrina Bergman
Coyote with Sarcoptic Mange


You wouldn’t want to meet this poor bugger in a back alley.  This male adolescent coyote is suffering horribly from Sarcoptic Mange (mites).   Mites are even worse than having really bad fleas.  At least fleas stay on top of your skin.  This Coyote was admitted by Woburn animal control and is suffering from a severe case.  Dr. Rob says that the coyote also has a secondary bacterial infection.  As you can see, he is very thin.  This teen coyote is being treated with an antiparasite, antibiotics and plenty of good food to fatten him up.  Although he looks awful, this regiment usually works.  However, because of the severity of his mange, his prognosis is only fair.   It will take a while, maybe six weeks or more, for him to recover.  The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife will be placing an ear tag on the coyote to track him so that they can better understand the biology of these facsinating creatures.  Our whole team is working hard so that this coyote can heal and be released to the wild. 

 “Like all the wildlife we help, this is the best biology lesson we can give to undergraduate students,” says Dr. Rob.  First hand exposure (with appropriate supervision and safe gaurds) is the best way to teach and to connect learners to wildlife and to the out-of-doors.  People protect what they know and love.   

When the coyote arrived, interns from Drexel University, the University of Rhode Island and the University of California at San Diego all gathered round the surgery table and assisted Dr. Rob while he sedated the animal.  With veterinary and veterinary technician supervision, undergraduates are feeding and providing medication.  While they are working and in follow up seminars, all of our students are learning pathophysiology (what causes the disease), epidemiology (how it spreads) and pharmacology (what meds are used and why).  They are also learning about coyote’s biology, anatomy, physiology and their natural history.

Sacropic Mange is a public health risk (but it is easily treated in most humans).  Dogs that come into contact with wildlife (sticking their nose in a fox hole for example), can catch it.  They can pass it on to us when we give them a hug or pat them.  Most of us already know not to feed wildlife and to keep our distance.   But it is a good reminder. 

We will keep you updated on this guy.  :)

By: Katrina Bergman
Definitely ready to go!

Today Mom Opossum and her 10 babies were released back into the wild after a difficult go of it. Mom was admitted in late July after being found stuck inside of the wall of a Braintree home. Fortunately for mom opossum, she got stuck in the right house. The homeowner was able and willing to help. The mother opossum was thin and distressed when she arrived at New England Wildlife Center for emergency care. Initially mom was admitted with a few nursing babies. Within a few days, a total of 10 babies joined her at the Center. Each time we thought all the babies were found, more kept coming! It is always a great day when they return to the wild.

Here’s some pictures chronicling her stay with us and a first hand look at our full immersion internship program.



By: Katrina Bergman
Black-Nosed Dace



Video of Black-Nosed Dace in the Pemigewasset River in Thornton, NH

By: Katrina Bergman
Solar voltaic Cells



Our very own Zak Mertz took up the challenge of climbing to our roof and reviewing some of our green technologies that help make us a sustainable building. Here is what he has to say about our solar voltaic cells which line the entirety of our rooftop.

By: Katrina Bergman


Lynn Huston and his son Jake recently completed this video about the New England Wildlife Center and our mission.

By: Katrina Bergman

Check out this short video on our resident paddlers. These four baby ducks are engaged in some water time.

By: Katrina Bergman
Group of Raccoons

Check out this video of baby raccoons just finishing a messy strawberry meal that Dr. Mertz filmed yesterday!

Who can’t help but fall in love? Native raccoons deserve our respect and admiration. Please share your raccoon stories with us, email us at