Most people have a memory from childhood of that first time they stumbled upon death in the wild. Perhaps it was a baby bird, a squirrel, or a deer by the side of the road.
It’s not uncommon for children, who naturally connect so easily with even the smallest of creatures, to hold a funeral for a dead worm or mouse they’ve discovered. This is special because they do so in earnest, and with a sensitivity that can disappear as we grow older and become acclimated to such natural things as a worm dying. It would be impossible to mourn every loss, but the kids have an insight into something that we as adults lose.
Many of us also have a memory of happening upon a wild animal that was hurt and in need of help, and wanting to provide aid and comfort in any way possible.
We hear so many remembrances–especially from “older” folks– of finding and trying to heal an injured animal, or raising an orphaned baby in their youth. Sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn’t, but these experiences matter because they stay with us and they shape our understanding of the creatures that share our world. The concrete connection that’s built when we see suffering first hand, or interact with an animal, forever changes the way we view those animals in the future.
For some folks, that intense desire to help never leaves. And for some, becoming a wildlife rehabilitator was the answer.
Lucky for us, nowadays with the internet and its wealth of information it’s easier to help wildlife in an informed and effective way. Wildlife rehabilitators play a huge role in informing the public of how to handle their individual wildlife situations, even if that means telling people to leave an animal alone.
Wildlife rehabilitators in Pennsylvania are licensed by the PA Game Commission and are the only individuals who can legally keep and care for injured wildlife. This is done for the safety of the animals and humans involved– and many are surprised to find out that rehabilitating wildlife is a very precise undertaking.
If you care about orphaned and injured wildlife you should know that the animals you put into the care of a licensed rehabilitator are in good hands. These dedicated individuals work tirelessly in an effort to help the creatures in their care.
Our hope is that through the That’s Wild blog we will be able to showcase the great and unique work that is done by wildlife rehabilitators both in Pennsylvania and around the world, to share their amazing stories, and to showcase the truly awesome wildlife that surrounds us as well!