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Wildlife Volunteer Opportunities The team at the von Arx Wildlife Hospital relies on dedicated volunteers to help treat over 3,300 injured, sick or orphaned animals each year. Volunteer opportunities are diverse and challenging. Can you help? or call 239.403.4212.

Protecting Southwest Florida’s unique natural environment and quality of life ... now and forever.

Outdoor Animal Caretaker

Spend time in close quarters outdoors with captive wild animals. Assist rehabilitating wildlife that are housed in outside recovery enclosures at the von Arx Willdife Hospital. Duties include observing animals’ behavior and health; cleaning water pools, perches, cage walls; discarding old food; and raking enclosures. Shift is 8 AM – 11 AM. No prior experience necessary – but must be physically fit, detail oriented, and an independent worker.

Indoor Animal Caretaker

Critter Courier

The Wildlife Hospital team is staffed to care for animals in the Hospital and relies on an elite team of volunteers to work as an emergency rescue and transport system for injured and orphaned wildlife. As a Critter Courier you will be “on call” to help capture and transport injured wildlife found in your area between 8 AM and 9 PM. We provide Critter Couriers with training to safely capture and transport different species of injured birds, mammals, and reptiles. Necessary rescue equipment provided. Once wildlife has recovered, Critter Couriers are often asked to release these animals as well! Perfect for those who want to help wildlife but don’t have time to volunteer on a regular schedule. Must be at least 16 years of age.

Sharon and Dolph

von Arx Wildlife Hospital

239.262.CARE (2273)

Naples, FL 34102 DONATE!


Never feed wild animals.

Keeping Wildlife Wild

Work closely with von Arx Willdife Hospital team to care for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife inside the Hospital. Duties include observing animals’ behavior and health, cleaning enclosures, folding laundry, preparing diets, assisting with feedings, and providing medical treatment as directed by the Wildlife Hospital team. Priority given to animal caretakers outside. Must have broad knowledge of animal behavior and diets, and willingness to work under close supervision. Various shifts are available: 8 AM - 12 PM; 1 PM - 5 PM; 5 PM - 9 PM.

Sharon and Dolph

f e e d

1. When wild animals begin to depend on humans for food, their foraging skills may be diminished. When young animals are taught to depend on humans for food, they may be less experienced at foraging, and consequently, less likely to survive. 2. Wild animals that get comfortable when fed by humans commonly lose their fear of people. They become easy targets for kids with BB guns and others who mean them harm. An instinctive wariness of people is important to a wild animal’s survival. 3. The food fed to animals by humans is usually nutritionally inadequate and can cause serious health problems for the animals. Most humans will feed wildlife food that they have in the house - people food or pet food - which bears no resemblance to what the animals eat in the wild. This provides a nutritionally deficient diet for wildlife.

Charles Warren

4. Animals (including humans) are opportunistic and will go for the easiest food sources available. When food is readily available, animals will gather in abnormally large numbers. This means that if one animal in the group has an illness or disease, it can spread throughout the group. By gathering these animals together in unnaturally large groups, diseases can spread much more quickly and can destroy a large number of animals.

wi l d

ani m a l s .

5. In the wild, the number of animals born is often directly related to the amount of natural food available. The number of animals surviving will also depend on how much food is available. This is nature’s way of keeping a balance. When an unnatural food supply becomes available, animals may produce more young and soon there may be more animals living in an area than what the natural food source can support. 6. A common phone call we receive at the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is from people whose neighbors have been feeding wild animals. At this point, the animals have become an incredible nuisance and people want to kill them or remove them. Most people do not think about the impact on the neighborhood when they start feeding wildlife. Wild animals do not usually discriminate between one human and another and will often start pestering other neighbors. They also may cause damage to homes and property because they expect to be fed and have lost their fear of people.

Charles Warren

N e v e r

Many people enjoy feeding wild animals because it allows them to have close contact with these animals. Often they think they are helping the animals to survive, especially in an urban environment. This could not be more incorrect. For centuries, these animals have existed without a human feeding them – and this is still the case. While feeding animals can be fun for humans, it is usually detrimental for the animals and will harm them more then it will help them.

von Arx Wildlife Hospital

Dangers of Feeding Wild Animals  
Dangers of Feeding Wild Animals