This is a blog site about the trials and tribulations of wildlife rehabilitation. I operate a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Price, Utah. You ask, "what is wildlife rehabilitation?"
Most people think that when wildlife is found injured, ill or orphaned that their state or possibly federal wildlife agencies intervene. This is NOT correct. I'll be speaking from Utah's state policies, but in networking with other rehabilitators throughout the country, this is the case in all other state's as well. All wildlife rehabilitators are unpaid by the state or feds. These agencies may pick-up the animal in need and transport it to the wildlife rehabilitator, but that is where it all ends on their end of things.
When we have a patient come in, we first evaluate that patient. After this, the treatment can begin. This varies greatly as they can be ill and we have to determine what illness they have, or injured. Sometimes both are involved.
Orphaned animals may also be ill or have injuries.
We have to have a small 'emergency room' available at all times, 24/7.
The healing of these patients sometimes requires surgery. For that a veterinarian is used that is listed on our license. These are very expensive, involving at least 1 type of medication or more in the rehabilitation after the surgery. Time varies with each patient as to how long each is in rehabilitation. It can be a matter of a few days, versus a year or more.
They have daily needs that we meet, including the cleaning of their living areas, follow-up trips to the veterinarians and so on.
While all of this is happening on a daily basis, we get calls daily to intervene with other wildlife problems. It's a never ending need. We have volunteers that help us that are trained for certain tasks. Unfortunately there are never enough of them and the ones we have usually are overworked.
No one is paid! These are not pets, they are wildlife and there is no "owner" to re-coop the money from that we spend on them. All monies needed for each patient comes from donations from the public or businesses. Unfortunately there is never enough money either. We frequently have to take money from our own families expenses and pay for the needs of the animals and worry about our personal bills later. This juggling act is performed by all wildlife rehabilitators.
Once our patients are ready to go back to the wild, then we decide on an appropriate location to do this and then release them. It's a wonderful experience and tearful at the same time.
I'm going to post some of our photo's of some of our experiences. I hope you enjoy them and wish to find out more about what we do. The state of Utah has 11 rehabilitators and of those, only 9 of us are permitted to work with eagles. My group is one of those 9. I cover the entire state if need be, but generally take calls from the southeastern part of Utah. There are several jurisdictions in this area and my
group takes all of those calls.
Our gas costs are terrible.