What Does A Wildlife Rehabilitator Do?
Wildlife rehabilitation is the field that deals with the care of injured and abandoned wild animals with the ultimate goal of releasing them back to their natural environment. Paid or volunteer wildlife rehabilitators are the ones who are responsible for rescuing animals, providing first aid when necessary and bringing them to rescue and rehabilitation centers where they can get comprehensive veterinary care. After these animals have completely recovered and the wildlife rehabilitators deem them fit to be returned to their natural habitat, they also release them back.
Wildlife rehabilitators receive special training before they are given the necessary permits to work in this area. This makes them knowledgeable about animal behavior, the dangers that come with the job and the ways to do it safely. If they receive a call from a concerned individual about a wild animal in need of assistance, they will first determine if there is really a need to rescue the animal. If not, they will instruct the concerned individuals to return young animals back to their biological parents and guide them on the ways to do it safely.
When wildlife rehabilitators personally rescue sick or orphaned animals, they will assess the extent of its injuries received and administer the necessary first aid treatment before bringing it back to the center for more complete care. If the animal has been so badly injured that it won’t ever be able to survive in the wild, it would most likely be euthanized. If the animal gets rehabilitated but still won’t be able to fare well in its natural habitat, rehabilitators will most likely find a home for them in educational institutions like colleges and universities.
Wildlife rehabilitators understand that keeping animals in captivity is only done out of necessity until such time that these patients can survive on their own. They know that these animals must still be afraid of humans in order for them to make it in the wild. As such, rehabilitators see to it that human contact with these animals is limited while in captivity so that they continue to exhibit this survival trait.
In addition to providing treatment to the wild animals under their care, wildlife rehabilitators also feed and provide clean water to them. They also see to it that their cages are cleaned regularly and that their environment is conducive to their recovery.
Educating the public about the role of wildlife and their importance to the environment is also part of the work of wildlife rehabilitators. Thus, they may be invited to give lectures to students in schools or introduce and tour them in their rescue facility during field trips. They also enlighten persons who may have found wildlife and share with them the importance of wildlife conservation.
While some wildlife rehabilitators are hired by wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facilities funded by nonprofit organizations, some choose to do it in their homes. For those who choose to run homebased wildlife rescue centers, part of their work is complying with all the ordinances and rules of the city, state and federal government so that they will be given a permit to operate. They may also have to work hard to find funding so that their rescue center will be able to continue operations.