While Oxbow Eco-Center is home to several captive animals we are NOT a rehabilitation facility. We cannot accept found or injured animals. We don’t have a safe place to keep them or the necessary equipment to get them back to full health.
Unless an animal is physically injured or in immediate danger, you should leave it alone. Many animals will bite when handled or cornered. Chasing an animal in attempt to move or handle it will likely result in a stressed animal and injury to yourself or another.
Tortoises and turtles are commonly seen on Oxbow’s property and the surrounding area. If you spot one or any other wildlife, please do not approach it, but observe from a respectful distance. Chances are they are on their way to find food or back to shelter. Often times the best thing you can do for a wild animal is nothing. Removing an animal from their natural environment can cause stress and disorientation, decreasing the animal's chance of survival.
However if you do see an animal that is visibly injured or struggling there are a number of agencies that can help.
- Port St Lucie Animal Control (772) 871-5042
- Creature Safe Place (772) 468-6616
- Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (863) 763-4630
- Treasure Coast Wildlife Center (772) 286-6200
- Busch Wildlife (561) 575-3399
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Regional Office (561)625-5122
What to do if you have a (native) animal that needs to be released:
- DO NOT RELEASE on Oxbow property. Our preserve is managed to protect the natural wildlife and vegetation and outside animals, even native ones, can have unintended consequences.
- If recovered from a road or highway, please release animal in the same direction it was traveling, as close as possible to original location.
- If you're unsure of where to release, one of the above agencies can provide assistance.
Please don't ever release non-native wildlife into natural areas. Most species won't survive, but some (especially reptiles) can become major pests and extremely detrimental to native landscapes. Please call one of the above agencies to find a proper home for the animal.