Bald Head Island Conservancy

An Introduction to BHIC’s Wildlife Hotline

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By Joel Davies, Conservation Technician

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Summer is upon us, which means the island will be teeming with more and more active wildlife for visitors and residents to see! However, with the increase in activity also comes the likelihood of encountering wild animals that are injured, sickly, generally unwell, or even deceased. If you are ever in a situation like this, the Bald Head Island Conservancy is here to help!

BHIC operates a wildlife emergency hotline for the entirety of BHI. To contact the hotline, call 910-457-0089 and select OPTION 5 to reach  a staff member who can assist you. If nobody is able to answer the phone, please leave a message with the information below, and we will respond as soon as possible.

In order for our staff to accurately assess the situation and figure out next steps, you may be asked to provide some basic information that falls under three main categories:

1. Identification / description of the animal.

Here we are only looking for basic information, rather than an exact identification of the species. Is it a bird, turtle, mammal, etc.? How large is it? Any information is better than nothing at all. If you are able, you can send photos directly to the hotline as a text message.

2. Condition of the animal.IMG 6954 2

As best you can without touching the animal and maintaining a safe distance, determine whether the animal is alive, dead, or injured. This helps us decide proper response time and preparatory efforts. If the animal is injured, it may be transported  to a rehabilitation center off island for further care. Sea Biscuit Wildlife Center in Oak Island and Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail are two such places.

3. Exact location and directions to the animal.

Again, the more information the better so we can efficiently find where you are! If you are unsure of your exact location, general reference points are good clues for us to have. For example, if you are on the beach, which beach access are you near? Which direction are you from that access? Are you on North Bald Head Wynd? Stede Bonnet? Muscadine? What house numbers are near you? If possible, stay on the scene so you can guide the responder to the animal. 

Ultimately, your safety and the safety of BHIC’s staff are of utmost priority. Some  animals encountered during the summer may just be in the process of migrating to a different location, such as juvenile alligators. We appreciate your willingness to protect BHI’s thriving wildlife scene!


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