By: Pat Coate
Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet several wildlife rehabilitators. Each one has been a remarkable, passionate person. Wildlife rehab is incredibly hard work (exhausting really). Often the animals taken in are babies and orphans, and, like newborn children, require attention nearly 24/7. The work is NOT glamorous, IS dirty (and smelly), with a seemingly endless cycle of pen cleaning, feeding, watering, and administering meds. It doesn’t pay well (if at all) and there are a lot of detractors who wonder why rehabilitators don’t just “let nature take its course.”
The payoff, that makes all the sacrifices worth it, is the moment when the animal they’ve worked so hard for is set free to live the life it was meant for in the wild. I had the chance to observe and participate in the release of three foxes – and witness the joy, satisfaction, and really the validation of all the effort, felt by the rehabilitators. Amazing!
Note: All photos from Michele, wildlife rehabilitator located in Ontario, Canada.