If you’re interested in learning more about wildlife rehabilitation or becoming a wildlife rehabilitator yourself, check out this brochure from WildAgain Wildlife Rehabilitation. It explains what wildlife rehabilitation is, why it’s needed and what is involved in becoming a wildlife rehabilitator. In Georgia, the Department of Natural Resources issues wildlife rehabilitation licenses to individuals who pass a written exam and a facility inspection.
Being a wildlife rehabber is incredibly rewarding. You get to save animals, raise or rehabilitate them, and then set them free, restoring a little piece of balance into our ecosystem. It’s a lot of fun to interact with the animals (though not too much!) and care for such wonderful critters. However, it’s not without challenges – a strong stomach is necessary to deal with parasites and infection. I’ve been pooped on more times than I can count and during baby season, I spend as much time cleaning out cages as I do feeding bottles to sweet babies. Baby season also includes round-the-clock feedings – the animals need to be fed every three hours and it takes an hour to feed all of them, resulting in little sleep.
Each animal that comes through my door depends on me to choose the proper medical treatment and be attentive to all their needs. Sometimes, the best you can do for the animal is to humanely euthanize it. I remember each animal that I have euthanized as clearly as I remember each animal that I have successfully released. Regardless of the outcome, I thank each animal for allowing me the chance to improve her or his life.