"For most of history, humanity has had to fight nature to survive; in this century, we are beginning to realize that, in order to survive, we must protect it."
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Have you ever seen a pelican up close? Ever touched one? Ever watched a raccoon dip its food in water and rub its "hands" together? Ever held a tiny baby bird in your hands to feed it? Watched an animal grow up or recover from terrible injuries and see it returned to the wild? It is thrilling work that you can be a part of!
In early spring or summer baby birds and mammals are born all around our urban environments. Loss of habitat or confrontations with cats, cars, windows, toxins, even humans result in injuries. Many baby mammals and birds are left as orphans as their parents are killed or trapped and taken away. Caregivers are needed to foster these orphans or to tend to the injured.
Feeding, cleaning (lots of that) and monitoring and record keeping are all part of each ailing patients recovery process and help is always needed. Sometimes, disasters happen, like the outbreak of Botulism at the Salton Sea. There, thousands of pelicans were poisoned in the summer and needed emergency care and hospitalization. We drove to the site (300 miles), picked up the sick birds, treated them at our Wildlife Care center and released those recovered birds back into the wild.
Pacific Wildlife Project and its team of volunteers were the first on the scene of that disaster. We established the Botulism treatment protocols that are still being used today by State and Federally licensed facilities in Southern California. We have also been on the scene of other disasters to rescue animals; like the great fires in Laguna Beach. Some of our volunteers have also helped with oil spill response, gone on to complete Veterinary studies or founded other Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation facilities.
What to expect...
It's dirty, smelly and doesn't pay at all, at least monetarily. It is also hard work sometimes and can be time consuming. Worse yet, not all our patients recover; But we make sure that none will suffer in our care. As we minister to the ailing and prevent the agony of the suffering and dying, we know we are making a difference to the beautiful and sentient wild neighbors who live among us.
If you've been looking for volunteer work where you can make a difference, look no further. The job possibilities are varied: cleaning cages; feeding; field rescue; releases, helping administratively, fundraising, booth sitting or just doing some laundry or picking up donated items--every little bit helps!
The cost of the care required from admission through release can be expensive in money and in time, so your help in any way can be more of a contribution than you could imagine. Try it; maybe you'll like it!
Here's your chance to do a really good thing; then, the next time you see a fishing pelican, a diving heron, or group of ducks swimming at the park you will always wonder if it was one that you helped to save. It just doesn't get any better than that!
If you are interested in volunteering, fill out the form below and you will receive a response back within 48-72 hours.