New Mexico’s Dr. Kathleen Ramsay Launches Wildlife Foundation

An orphaned bear cub in rehabilitation at Dr. Kathleen Ramsay’s compound north of Espanola. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Dr. Kathleen Ramsay. Photo by Carol A. Clark/


Los Alamos Daily Post

A dozen rescued bears ranging in weight from 4 to 150 pounds are recuperating and rehabilitating along with other wildlife at a secluded compound north of Espanola. The 150-pound bear was emaciated when it arrived a couple of months ago, weighing just 27 pounds.

Dr. Kathleen Ramsay, founder of The Wildlife Center in Espanola, and her son Tyrone Horak operate the 4-acre compound.

Ramsay was born in Los Alamos. Her parents still live in White Rock. When she was in veterinary school she learned the standard program involving dogs, cats, horses, cows, sheep and goats. Other animal medicine didn’t exist at that time. One day a man brought in a golden eagle caught in a foothold trap. It was thrashing and screaming and Ramsay said it was then that she knew she wanted to be able to give these types of animals a second chance in life.

Ramsay and her son have launched the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation to serve as an umbrella entity in support of the many rehabilitation centers operating across New Mexico. James Robinson serves as chairman of the board of directors for the foundation, which includes board members Melissa Riggs and Daniel Archuleta. 

“Our mission with the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation is to help New Mexico wildlife by providing financial and logistical aid to those organizations in the state that help to rehabilitate animals,” Ramsay said. “We will do this by providing those operations with assistance for enclosures, transportation, medical treatment, food and volunteers.”

This 150-pound bear is recuperating from malnutrition. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Ramsay has spent nearly three decades involved in rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing ill and injured animals. She founded Las Aves in 1986, which grew into The Wildlife Center that continues operating today in Espanola.

Ramsay raised her son around animals and he inherited her love for them. Horak, 24, recalled the day he knew he was going to follow his mother’s path.

“It started when we got three mountain lions to raise for the Albuquerque Zoo,” Horak said. “They were only a day and a half old and it was then that I knew I wanted to become a rehabilitator.”
Horak is studying wildlife management at Eastern New Mexico University and serves as president of the Fish and Wildlife Club in Portales. During an interview at the compound with the Los Alamos Daily Post, Horak explained why he and his mother do what they do.
“It’s all for the animals,” he said.
It costs a tremendous amount of money to rescue, rehabilitate and release ill, injured and orphaned wildlife, Horak said. There is a never-ending need for fruits and grains, medical supplies and enclosures that cost up to $12,000.
“We really need the community’s support so we can help all of the other rehabilitators in the state,” he said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation may do so here or mail a check to Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation, 7 Shady Lane, Espanola, N.M., 87532.
Editor’s note: Part 2 in this series focuses on Dr. Kathleen Ramsay’s veterinary work at Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic in Espanola.

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Wildlife rehabilitator Ty Horak. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Ty Horak with Pee Wee, right, and Ish. The elk were rescued when very young. They were unable to return to the wild so they now serve as surrogate mothers to young orphaned elk. Pee Wee and Ish teach the orphans skills to survive in the wild and will not allow humans near their young charges during this process. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Ty Horak with Pee Wee the elk. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

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