Most people, I have found, have no idea what it’s really like to be a wildlife rehabber. They can’t even imagine or put themselves in our shoes. I think a lot of people feel like we just play with cute animals all day. Disney, among others, has done a major disservice to wildlife by portraying animals as creatures that should be cuddled with. It’s not at all like that. It’s hard. So incredibly hard. I want to share with you what my last animal care shift was like so that maybe you will understand that when you call a wildlife rehabber and they ask a ton of questions or sound rude, it’s not because we’re mean or we think you’re lying, we’re not being short with you because of you. We’re exhasted in every possible sense of the word. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically exhausted. We are short-staffed, we are under-funded, we are constantly dealing with volunteers and interns who don’t show up, or people who lie to our faces about the wildlife they bring to us, and so many of our days go like this: Continue reading Wildlife Rehab is Not a Fairy Tale
So many wonderful things happened today it’s hard to believe this is my life. Today I held a fawn while my friend bottle fed it. It fell asleep in my arms with the bottle in its mouth. The second little fawn had already been fed but sucked on my finger expecting more (sorry little guy). Then I got to feed chunks of raw chicken to a Barred Owl and to pet him, for which he seemed grateful.
Then, less glamorous but cool nonetheless, I climbed into a cage with robins and starlings and fed them worms while they perched on my hand (these are not pet parakeets, they are wild creatures I’ll remind you, and I did not get pecked at or shat on even once, though one did get a bit tangled in my hair). And of course, let’s not forget the squirrel feeding. It is incredible that these animals just let me pick them up, hold them and pet them without biting or clawing or trying to defend themselves in any way.
*Disclaimer: Don’t pick up wild animals and try to cuddle with them. Wildwoods is a controlled environment with experts at the ready, and your back yard is the opposite of that.
Visit Wildwoods’ website to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation.