There has been a lot of discussion and press lately about the closing of the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable operated by the Humane Society of the United States. Wild Care wants to remind caring residents of Cape Cod and Southeastern MA who rescue wildlife in trouble that Wild Care is still here, and will continue to work tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate and release - injured, orphaned and ill wildlife!
Wild Care is a wildlife rehabilitation center in Eastham - the yellow farmhouse on the Orleans-Eastham rotary. For 23 years their licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators have worked 365 days per year to help wildlife in need and to educate the public on wildlife encounters. Wild Care's Critical Care Clinic cares for raptors, seabirds, songbirds, reptiles and small mammals. In the Wildlife Nursery, wildlife babies that have been orphaned or abandoned are raised and released. Through their Helpline, WIld Care gives advice to over 4,000 concerned callers each year.
Wild Care has a state of the art aviary that accommodates large raptors. Red-tailed hawks, Osprey, Great-horned Owls and other large raptors are able to exercise and hunt in this aviary in final preparation for release. Their cutting-edge warm and cold water seabird therapy pools have reduced the recovery time of a myriad of seabirds and waterfowl that have come to Wild Care for treatment. Red-throated Loons, Northern Gannets, Atlantic Puffins, and Black-backed Gulls have all been treated in these pools to recover their waterproofing and give them the necessary exercise needed for release. Wild Care's Baby Bird program is staffed with over 60 volunteers who feed such species as Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings, and Chimney Swifts in 3 hour shifts every 20 minutes until they are ready for release! This past year Wild Care was the only rehab center on the Cape to care for baby birds. The Critical Care Clinic staff also rehabs reptiles from the biggest Snapping Turtle hit by a car to the smallest young Black Racer snake caught in a glue trap. And they care for hundreds of orphaned or injured small mammals like Virginia Opossum and Red and Gray Squirrels.
With the potential closing of the rehab center in Barnstable on Feb. 28, 2017, Wild Care is gearing up to accept more patients in the coming year. They are exploring ways to invest in their staff and expand our patient capacity. But Wild Care will need support from the community to do so. Wild Care is also meeting with other wildlife professionals from the Cape Cod Collaborative, Cape Wildlife Center, Tufts Veterinary Clinic, New England Wildlife Center and others to discuss solutions to caring for wildlife on the Cape, especially animals that carry rabies like bats, raccoons and other larger mammals.
Whether the Barnstable center ceases to exist after February 28th or evolves into a smaller rehab center to care for rabies vector species, Wild Care will remain, as always, a small independent non-profit with a big vision - to rescue and rehabilitate injured, ill and orphaned wildlife and to educate the public on how to live in harmony with our wildlife neighbors. Wild Care will also continue to collaboratee with, and share the strengths and resources of the local wildlife hospitals, and local licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators, and volunteers, from the various wildlife organizations in order to provide care for all the Cape’s wildlife.
Wild Care does not receive any government funding. It relies on donations, grants, and fundraising events just to keep its doors open. Wild Care is a true grass roots organization. Every dollar that is raised goes right back into operations of the center. Every donation of money, goods and services helps them care for the animals. For more information on how to support Wild Care and its efforts to protect the Cape’s wildlife, please visit their website at www.wildcarecapecod.org.
If you find an animal in distress please call the Wild Care Helpline at 508-240-2255. They're available daily from 9 AM - 5 PM, 365 days per year.