We continue to be amazed and inspired by the extent of interest in wildlife and habitats from our community. The unseasonablly warm temperatures and lack of snowfall seemed to keep many wild animals out of roads, and our patient load did decrease a bit from last year which is wonderful! Staff took full advantage of this slightly lightened patient load (average of 100 patients in care during winter to early spring vs. average of 175) and began updating protocols, systems, procedures, and volunteer and intern training programs for the clinic. Our medical care staff, interns, and volunteers also took advantage of training opportunities and brushed up their skills in many areas such as oiled bird response and rescue, performing necropsies to determine causes of death and secure baseline data, and even trends in wildlife due to global climate change.
Our environmental education programs continue to increase in number, and countless members of the community are able to connect with our wild animal ambassadors- non-releasable raptors, reptiles, and mammals that because of their disability cannot return to the wild. This winter- spring we performed over 100 programs to schools, libraries, state parks, senior centers, and many other organizations teaching people young and old about a variety of topics; from white nosed syndrome in bats, nocturnal animals and their adaptations, winter wildlife strategies, and human's connection and dependence on healthy wildlife and ecosystems. We look forward to creating a new "Wildlife as Teachers and Healers" program later on this year which will focus on an accessible program for unique groups like seniors, at-risk, or students with learning disabilities so that all members of our community have an equal opportunity to connect with wildlife.
Here's a spotlight on one of our most inspiring cases this spring:
In late March a couple returned to their home after being away for a few days. They walked into their living room and saw that their window had been shattered and there was glass everywhere. Looking around, they were astounded to see a dazed red-tailed hawk attempting to perch on their arm chair! They quickly called a game warden who although could not provide medical care, was willing to transport the injured bird to the Center for Wildlife. Our medical staff quickly gave the bird a thorough exam and found that he had a deep wound on his wrist, but no fractures and his eyes were clear. Our volunteer veterinarian examined the bird the next day and confirmed that the wound was indeed deep, but somehow the glass had not torn any muscles, ligaments, or tendons that would be imperative for the bird to survive! He spent a few weeks in our Intensive Care room where our medical staff cleaned and tended his wounds daily, and volunteers and interns assisted with supportive care. His wound completely healed, and he moved through the rehabilitative process and gradually began soaring strongly in our 100 foot flight enclosure! After about a month he was amazingly back to 100 percent, and ready for release.
We brought the bird to the rescuers and they were thrilled to release him back into the wild. Here's what they had to say: "it is so wonderful to see this magnificent bird healthy and strong again. He actually has a mate, and we have been watching this pair every spring for the past few years. Thank you for treating him and getting him back to his home".
Thank YOU global giving donors, for helping us secure the funding to do this amazing work. With no state or federal funding we rely entirely on donors like you to continue medically treating and connecting the community with our wildlife and habitats. We couldn't do it without you!!
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