Notes From The Wildlife Rescue Center The First Step – Volunteer!

By Jennifer A. Kornberger

We’ve all heard the phrase in rally cries, “Save the planet!” And, it sounds terrific! Who wouldn’t want to actually save the planet? But, then again, that task also sounds so daunting and massive. It’s intimidating enough to stop us in our tracks. Which aspect of environmental preservation is the most in need? And, what could be the very first step be?

We’ve all see images of exotic animals in far way locales that are in peril. Polar bears suffering from habitat loss due to shrinking ice fields. It is even theorized that cheetahs might be facing extinction within the next 20-50 years due to habitat loss and genetic issues. We want to help, and yet animals like these are so far away. The hands on help we want to provide might all be done over seas, and we aren’t sure we could ever realistically get there. Does wildlife preservation and environmental education have to happen so far away from home?

For those with a passion for wildlife rehabilitation and environmental awareness within the St. Louis area, the Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) can be your very first step in the long journey towards the mega-goal we all share to save the planet as well as all those creatures residing on it.
Did you know that the state of Missouri is within the home range of North America’s only native marsupial, the opossum? And, every year the WRC rehabilitates hundreds of injured, sick, and orphaned opossums in order to return them to the wild. The opossum’s presence within our native habitat provides us all with the benefits of a healthy environment free from overwhelming amounts of carrion, several different types of insects, and even mice and rats. The WRC also provides rehabilitation services for other native animals, including: squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, turtles, waterfowl, snakes, skunks, fox, coyotes, and more! And, each of these natives are key components needed for the optimum health and balance of our own environment. The Center also provides environmental education services to promote public awareness.

The WRC relies on volunteers to help with many essential tasks including direct animal care and environmental education programs. If you are looking for your first step, one that is not too intimidating or far from home, this is it!

For more information about the WRC Volunteer Program, email volunteers@mowildlife.org or call 636-394-1880 ext. 212.

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