MEDIA ALERT: Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital Will Not Take In Wild Turkeys


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Elisabeth Nardi

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Due to threat from contagious disease, SF pioneering wildlife rehabilitation center enacts new protocols to protect animals

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., March 25, 2019—After a reported case of Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) on March 13 in Redwood City, Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital will no longer accept injured or baby wild turkeys at the accession hospital desk. Any member of the public who bring in turkeys will be stopped at the front door to protect both Lindsay’s avian animal ambassadors as well as birds in care at the hospital. Anyone who sees or find an injured turkey should call their county animal services department.

Newcastle Disease is a nearly-always fatal respiratory infection in poultry that can spread to other birds.  There is no cure, and the only way to stop the virus and eradicate the disease is to euthanize birds, according to medical professionals.  Chickens are the most commonly associated bird with this disease, but other birds, such as turkeys, pheasants, quail, parrots and parakeets may be at a higher risk of developing and transmitting the disease.

Due to the seriousness of the disease and Lindsay’s duty and desire to protect its animal ambassadors—as well as those receiving care in the hospital—Lindsay Wildlife has put in place a series of precautionary protocols.

“We are taking the threat very seriously here at Lindsay,” said Aireo Shipman, Lindsay’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager. “Our priority must be to protect our animal ambassadors who call Lindsay home, as well as the injured birds that need our care.”

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife issued a warning and protocol recommendations to all wildlife rehabilitators on March 19.

Lindsay Wildlife has since implemented safety procedures including:  no longer taking wild turkeys, or any non-native, domestic or exotic birds that mistakenly come into the wildlife hospital. Injured or baby quail that are brought to Lindsay will be rehabbed off-site and placed in quarantine outside of the building. The protocols also require volunteers and staff who have chickens, ducks or other birds to change their shoes and clothes before working with rehab or animal ambassadors at Lindsay. Lindsay will also not be able to accept any donations of products associated with poultry, including egg cartons.

“We hope all of the protocols are just a precaution and that, within the next few months, there is no evidence that the disease has spread to Northern California,” said Shipman.

For more information on Virulent Newcastle Disease, please go to the California Department of Food and Agriculture website.


About Lindsay Wildlife Experience:
Lindsay connects people with wildlife to inspire responsibility and respect for the world we share. It is a unique natural history and environmental education center where wild live animals are just inches away from visitors. It serves more than 100,000 children and adults and treats more than 5,600 animals each year at the first wildlife rehabilitation hospital established in the U.S.


Visiting Lindsay Wildlife Experience


1931 First Ave, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

(925) 935-1978