It's the time of year to get outdoors, and the chances of humans and wild animals coming into contact will increase as residents begin yard work and spring excursions.

It's the time of year to get outdoors, and the chances of humans and wild animals coming into contact will increase as residents begin yard work and spring excursions.

The nonprofit Ohio Wildlife Center, with its headquarters at 6131 Cook Road in Powell and its wildlife hospital at 2661 Billingsley Road in Columbus, aims to educate the public about keeping wildlife in the wild.

Angela Latham, the center's community engagement coordinator, said residents should keep an eye out for wild animals as they begin yard work.

She said the center's hospital, which sees roughly 5,000 animals every year, takes in many squirrels.

"Before you start your spring yard work, you'll want to check your trees," Latham said.

Squirrels are cavity nesters and make their nests in trees, she said.

Latham said those who find young squirrels on the ground should put them in a box and bring them to the center.

"If you find a baby squirrel that needs medical attention, put it in a box with a blanket to keep it warm," she said. "Do not feed wildlife, as they have special digestive systems."

The wildlife hospital is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends. To learn more about what to do with a sick or injured animal, visit ohiowildlifecenter. org or call 614-793-WILD.

The center also operates Scram Wildlife Control, which provides no-kill methods for those who suspect a wild animal is living in their home or business.

For more information, call 614-763-0696 or visit scramwildlife.org.

The wildlife center is not regularly open to the public, but has open-house events, special programming and summer camps for children ages 4-16 that allow the public to visit the property.

The center houses a number of animals, including coyotes, raccoons, red foxes, wild turkeys, several species of owls and hawks, ring-billed gulls, Eastern gray squirrels, opossums and a white-tail rabbit.

The center currently is in need of unsalted, shelled nuts and is seeking weeds and grass from untreated lawns.

For a complete list of the center's needs, including a wish list for supplies and volunteer opportunities, visit its website.