Most Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers are not large like the ones you see on the nature programs on T.V.. Most of us run from our houses and backyards. We do it without any Federal or State funding. We do it out of love for nature. We are a few of the Division of Wildlife’s biggest volunteers; we do thousands of hours annually. Funding our facilities is our duty. Our education is our responsibility also. In most states you need to be licensed by the state and sometimes also the Federal Government. This is for the critter’s wellbeing, because he then goes to someone trained to handle that species.
It requires long hours and plenty of money (that you don’t have). In one day you will be shown something amazing, and then come face to face with death. The best paycheck is successfully releasing that critter back into the wild. Which is great, for there is no glory in cleaning up piles and piles of manure. It’s strictly for the love of these animals. And love of all creatures, not just the cute and popular ones. You shoot all of the coyotes, and then you have population problems with species that they eat, such as the cottontails or gophers. It’s the delicate balance of nature.
What we do as Wildlife Rehabbers is to try and keep the balance between man and wildlife. Almost everything we get in is due to some type of human conflict. Either hit by a car, got by a dog, flew into a window. As we move further and further into”critter land” we will have more and more conflicts with character, your garden is that raccoon’s backyard also. We just need to learn to co-exist, not take over but co-exist. If everything in nature has its place, and it has learned to coexist except for us, well why? Why do we want to modify the behavior of everything so as to get along with it? As Wildlife Rehabilitators we have to be sensitive to that creature or birds needs. This is why if you discover wildlife in trouble call your community licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator. They’ve been trained to help. We can all pitch in together with the preservation of our own backyards. And if we are really blessed, we get to see that critter return into the wild and live as it was intended. That’s a job well done! And it takes all of us.