Warm weather creates issues for wildlife rehabbers
THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) -
South Georgia humans are not the only ones feeling the negative effects of recent severe weather.
Wild animals ranging from deer to raccoons are finding themselves injured and/or alone.
From broken legs, to fractured collar bones, and impaired vision. These animals are on the mend.
Thomas County wildlife rehabber Lorraine Conklin currently has about 140 injured or abandoned wild animals under her care.
"Babies require almost constant around the clock care depending on the species. So she is putting in anywhere from 14 to 16 hour days. And you don't get days off. That's seven days a week, around the clock," said Georgia Wildlife Rescue Association Executive Director Chet Powell.
The Georgia Wildlife Rescue Association tries it's best to assist rehabbers like Conklin.
"The problem is they all operate out of their own pocket. Very few of them have a support system. The state does not support them," said Powell.
Powell says the unusual weather patterns have drastically increased the burden on the rehabbers.
"With warmer weather happening longer that means breeding season occurs earlier and longer. So that means adult animals are out roaming looking for mates and food. And obviously they are going to be in the path of vehicles more."
The recent rain, wind, and lightning also have not been kind to Conklin, fellow rehabbers, and their animal friends.
"They have the additional expense of repairing pens then having animals injured again who were already injured before."
And Powell says these rehabbers desperately need help now more than ever.
"Veterinary care, utility bills, try to keep them at least from trying to get too warm, and then the food. It is just tremendous expense."
Powell says he will take a blind fawn to Tallahassee this week see if its vision can be restored.
Powell says if you know who you're local wildlife rehabber is, it's best to donate directly to them. Otherwise please visit http://www.georgiawildliferescue.org/ to learn more and donate.