An orphaned raccoon, injured fawn and orphaned mallard are raised and released back to the wild through WildCare’s efforts. -Photos by Shelly Ross, Melanie Piazza and Alison Hermance
WildCare, with its Wildlife Hospital and Nature Education Center on Albert Park Lane in San Rafael, has been an important community resource and Marin institution for decades. Since the 1970s and even earlier, Marin residents have brought injured and orphaned wildlife to its downtown location, and learned to love and appreciate nature and wildlife through the teachings of Elizabeth Terwilliger, fondly known as “Mrs. T.” Over the past three decades, the organization has given more than 120,000 animals a second chance at life in the wild, and taught more than 1 million children and adults to truly appreciate our environment, and the wildlife with which we share it.
Today, WildCare offers a complete cycle of programs to address the urgent issues and human impacts facing wildlife and our shared environment. Whether the organization is teaching the next generation to become stewards and protectors of the natural world, answering calls on its Living with Wildlife Hotline (415-456-7283), advocating for wildlife or healing a great horned owl’s broken wing, WildCare continues to help both the animals and people of Marin County.
The organization has tremendous gratitude for its constituents and supporters. With resources stretched thin, a $5,000 grant from the Giving Marin Community Partnership in early 2021 enabled WildCare to prepare the Wildlife Hospital for the flood of orphaned baby animals that came through its doors during wildlife “baby season,” which happens during the spring and summer months. These funds also allowed the organization to restart its internship program this spring, with nine three-month-long internship positions. Four new interns completed their spring internships, and another five were added this summer. The interns provided valuable hands-on help in the Wildlife Hospital.
From tiny, featherless baby birds that need to be fed every 30 minutes from dawn to dusk, to newborn baby raccoons requiring bottles of special formula every three or four hours around the clock, “baby season” is the most intensive time for WildCare in terms of volunteer and intern hours, and resources.
WildCare has deep roots in our community, and its existing location at Albert Park Lane is a destination for both wildlife rescuers and nature lovers. WildCare’s leaders are excited to announce their goal to build a state-of-the-art WildCare Center at the current Albert Park location. This is a mission-driven, board-approved plan to completely replace the structures on its existing site by 2024. They aim to generate project funding through a volunteer-driven philanthropic campaign that will run through 2023. For information about the organization, visit discoverwildcare.org.
Among the animals commonly rehabilitated at WildCare are opossums, red-tailed hawks and squirrels. –Photos by Alison Hermance