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Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter
100 Wildlife Way
Highway 24
Newport, NC 28570

(252) 240-1200

This indispensable wildlife hospital is located on N.C. Highway 24, 5 miles west of U.S. Highway 70. It's the red brick house with a pond and bridge in the front yard. Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter (OWLS) has become a much-depended-on agency along the Crystal Coast for assistance with wounded wildlife. This nonprofit group cares for more than 1,300 injured or sick birds, mammals and reptiles annually through the efforts of volunteers and licensed rehabilitators. Individuals finding injured or sick wildlife are asked to call and then deliver the animal to OWLS. In some cases, we are able to rescue and transport. A positive outcome for the animal is much more like when the caller, on the scene, can transport.

Scheduled tours happen on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 2 PM. Please call at 1:00 PM to make sure we have a tour guide available. If someone calls out, the animals in our care are our absolute priority. We do offer tours and outreach programs by appointment and include a look at the hospital, orphan nurseries and the permanent resident hawks, owls, opossum, and vultures. Groups are asked to call ahead to schedule a tour. The fee is $3 per person for scheduled tours with children younger than 2 admitted free. The facility also offers a nature trail open during daylight hours. Any visitor wanting to walk the marked trails must check in with personnel and be escorted to the trail head. Dogs are not allowed on the property. They offer summer camps for children ages 7-12 and the dates are announced in the beginning of April. Art Camp with local artist, Debbie Pagliughi, is strictly a 10-child camp of 8 to 10-year-olds and preregistration is advised. They also offer Raptor Roundup Camp for 10-12 year-olds and Wild by Nature for 7-10 year-olds as day camps. These camps run from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The sanctuary operates every day, including holidays and weather conditions from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for the admission of injured and orphaned animals.

OWLS hosts their annual "Taste of Carteret" fundraising event at the Civic Center the Friday before Thanksgiving where they bring some of their permanent residents to meet the public to show why they are raising money for the shelter, offer a buffet provided by the restaurants of Carteret County, silent auction items donated by private individuals and local businesses, open bar, and live music.

OWLS takes volunteer applications year round. Adult volunteers who are 18 years old or older are trained throughout the year and junior volunteers aged 13-17 years old are mainly utilized in the Spring and Summer baby season, when OWLS is open for twelve hours a day to care for the little ones. There are several ways to aid OWLS, such as donations to Second Go Round Consignment shop that are designated to OWLS, aluminum can collection points deposited at the Gas Man, and the donation of fresh or freshly frozen whole fish, and many other suggestions as seen on their website. 


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