Baby flying squirrels By Rebecca Michelin Director, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education Wildlife Clinic While human society undergoes rapid changes and we all make necessary adjustments to …
By Rebecca Michelin
Director, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
While human society undergoes rapid changes and we all make necessary adjustments to our daily routines, local wildlife has continued normal spring activities. The important work of the Wildlife Clinic must go on and our staff are adapting to our new “normal” as best we can under the challenging current circumstances.
“We are still coming in everyday to not only provide treatment for the animals that we already had in care when this all started, but we are also taking in more injured wildlife daily,” said rehab assistant Liz Ellmann. “We are answering calls on our 24-hour wildlife hotline, and we are grateful for everyone that calls in looking for help with injured animals.”
It’s true that the wildlife hotline has been ringing non-stop with regular calls about injured and orphaned wildlife, and staff have been doing everything they can to provide accurate and timely responses. We have seen some noticeable changes in the demographics of calls we have received lately; for example, we’ve gotten more than the usual number of reports of nests of squirrels and mice in cars that are sitting idle in driveways. At the same time, the number of baby opossums brought to the clinic that have been orphaned from mothers being struck by vehicles has gone down significantly from previous years since there are fewer cars on the roads as people work more from home.
With social distancing rules in place, the Wildlife Clinic has had to ask our dedicated volunteers to stay home, and only our staff members have been coming in to care for our patients. The clinic has had to significantly reduce the number of patients we can accept so that we can ensure we are providing the highest quality of care for as many animals as we can. We are staying in touch with our volunteers and supporters through social media and online meetings, because we know how much their work at the clinic means to our volunteers- they miss the feeling of contribution and their important connections with the animals.
“We understand that this is hard for everyone, and I personally want to thank everyone that has been so understanding and so willing to do whatever it takes to make sure all the injured and orphaned wildlife get the chance that they deserve.” Liz continued.
“We have been so grateful for finders who can help us reunite mothers with their babies,“ said assistant director Chris Strub. “Not only does that help us reduce our numbers so that we can focus on animals who are truly in need, but mother animals know how to raise their babies best, so reuniting is always the first and best option for most young animals.”
As daily life returns to normal, whatever and whenever that may be, one thing will always stay the same- there will be injured, orphaned, and sick wildlife that need our help. And with the continued support of our community, dedicated volunteers, and incredible staff, the Wildlife Clinic at the Schuylkill Center will be there to provide professional, life-saving care to those in need.
If you have wildlife questions you would like answered, please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you find an injured or orphaned animal in need of assistance, please call the Wildlife Clinic at 215-482-7300, option 2.