Brown tortoise at Wild Friends, the wildlife rehabilitation area of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Wild Friends at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary: Utah wildlife rehabilitation


If you find injured or orphaned wildlife in southern Utah, please reach out to our licensed wildlife rehabilitators at 435-274-2198. If it is after hours, please call 559-MED-WILD or text 435-689-0855 for wildlife emergencies only.

The Wild Friends wildlife refuge area is licensed by both the state of Utah and the federal government as a rehabilitation center to help injured or orphaned wild animals. Unlike other programs at the Sanctuary, the goal is not to find them homes, but to restore their health and release them back into the wild.

Baby hummingbird being fed with a tube 

Songbird flight enclosure and aviary

At the heart of Wild Friends is a 5-foot-by-24-foot indoor-outdoor songbird enclosure that is temperature-controlled to provide maximum care for rehabilitated birds, all the way from captivity to release. Additionally, Wild Friends has a 20-foot-by-40-foot outdoor flight space. More space to fly means more physical conditioning, which goes a long way toward helping birds stay in the air and out of harm's way.Pair of golden eagles flying

Wildlife rehab and care for other animals

While most animals at Wild Friends are only stopping by for a little rehab before returning to their lives in the wild, the list always includes a few permanent residents and even a few adoptable animals (ducks, for example). Those who are too injured to be released or those considered exotic pets stay on as part of our Wild Friends education program, which teaches people about the plight of federally designated threatened species.

The following are just a few species that have come through the doors at Wild Friends.

  • Chickens and turkeys
  • Crows and ravens
  • Ducks
  • Falcons and hawks
  • Ferrets and mink
  • Geese
  • Owls
  • Pigeons and doves
  • Peafowl
  • Reptiles, amphibians and chelonians
  • Rodents and small mammals

Volunteering at Wild Friends

At Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, we're always busy keeping the animals happy, so we're unable to offer animal interactions to walk-in guests. To ensure you get quality time with the animals at Wild Friends, please sign up for a volunteer shift.Wooden benches carved with birds of prey from Grand Opening of the new Wild Friends