The Wildlife Center (TWC) is bursting at the seams this summer. As of Friday there were 122 animals in care at the Center. Most of the patients are young animals – orphaned, fledglings and youthful critters that didn’t quite make the transition to adulthood on their own.
Perhaps a dog or cat got a hold of them, or they were injured upon fledging. Maybe a good-intentioned human “rescued” an animal that didn’t need rescuing.
There are three yearling bears, eight bobcats, three golden eagles, numerous hawks and owls, a few waterfowl and dozens and dozens of baby songbirds and small mammals residing at the Center. Most have come from Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos and Espanola, however several have come all the way from the far corners of the state – Clayton, Alamogordo, Cuba and Angel Fire.
The three rehabilitation staff members are working long hours, but have much needed help in the form of four summer interns. Each of the interns is in a bachelor’s degree program focusing on biology, zoology or wildlife management. They come from colleges in Maine, Montana, Ohio and Florida.
All of these animals eat a lot of food. The bears alone go through 56 pounds of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dog food a week. The bobcats are fed rats and rabbits. The rest of the critters get mice, rats, crickets, meal worms, fruits, vegetables and all kinds of supplements.
“We are asking the community’s support to help feed the animals,” Center Associate Director Cheryl Bell said. “We gratefully welcome gift cards to local stores. However, if you bring us a few items from our Wish List, we will let you take a tour of our 35 education animals for free!”
Feed Me! Wish List
- dark leafy greens (no iceberg or cabbage)
- frozen mixed vegetables (carrot, pea, corn and green bean mix)
- wild dove food/finch and canary seed
- wild bird seed (limited amounts)
- timothy hay bales (two string) / straw bales (two string)
- calf manna/cob grain (corn, oats and barley – no molasses)
- powdered laundry detergent / paper towels/kleenex / ziploc bags – gallon
- game meat – no more than two years old, nothing processed/seasoned
- frozen fish – salmon, trout, etc.
The Wildlife Center in northern Santa Fe County, is New Mexico’s only wildlife hospital serving all endemic species allowed by the State. Thirty-five non-releasable educational birds and mammals including eagles, owls and bobcats reside at the Center and are the centerpiece of more than 100 educational programs and more than 400 public tours each year at the Center and throughout northern New Mexico.
These programs and tours reach about 5,000 adults and children each year. The Center is staffed by nine employees and more than 70 volunteers, who give more than 6,500 hours of their time annually.
The Wildlife Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization whose primary funding comes from individual donors and private foundations. For additional information, contact The Wildlife Center at 505.753.9505 or visit www.thewildlifecenter.org.