Originally posted August 13, 2017
It’s August and we’re still in the midst of “baby season” but I am already thinking of cooler days and fewer mouths to feed. Don’t get me wrong! I love baby season! I love caring for the thousands of orphaned wildlife that come through our doors! I want each and every one to successfully leave the care of Cedar Run and live a great life out in the wild. But I admit it can be tiring for a small band of humans to play momma (the best they can) to so many babies. Like any human baby’s parent, we are ready for that proverbial full night’s sleep.
But what do cooler days really mean? What do we do when summer is over? Well, baby season may end but we always have injured animals to care for and rehabilitate to release back to the wild. Resident wildlife demands our attention as well, and volunteers create enrichment projects to help keep life interesting for those who stay because they could not survive in the wild. Over last winter, volunteers built new rehabilitation enclosures for fawns, raccoons, and foxes. Volunteers freshened up the hospital with new coats of paint, cleaned the trails, and more. Volunteers continued working with the education animals to ensure they are comfortable with the public, and went to schools and other events to teach kids and the public about wildlife and the importance of conservation. Some volunteers even took opportunities to attend trainings and conferences to advance their knowledge and skills in wildlife rehabilitation.
So why do I mention this? Well, with baby season on the cusp of winding down for this year, you might be thinking we wind down with it. But I assure you, we do not! You may see fewer calls for help on Facebook as we run low on baby foods and supplies (don’t forget we 100% run on donations!). But, in between feedings, we are busy planning for “down time” when we can clean up, patch up, and build up in preparation for even more successes next baby season! Think volunteering is only for the summer? Nope! Interns may go back to school, and many volunteers are only available in the summer, it’s true. But many of us stay on to help Cedar Run throughout the year.
Are you too busy in the summer to volunteer? Or perhaps not sure you really want to work directly with the animals? Fear not! There are so many options to volunteer as best fits you, individual or groups, for one day/event or for longer term. Contact Cedar Run with ideas or even with general interest, and we’ll help you to help us! You’ll join a large family that loves wildlife as much as you do!Now, it’s time for another baby squirrel feeding…
Elizabeth Benjamin, Hospital Volunteer