An Ames rehabilitation facility cares for a different kind of patient.
Wildlife Care Center is a small non-profit that takes in injured wildlife for much of greater southern Iowa.
The facility is run by five undergraduate students and one exotics veterinarian who donates her time for complex surgeries. The facility is often staffed by volunteers from Iowa State University and the Ames community.
The care center opened in 1984 and takes in hundreds of animals each year. The facility typically houses between five and 10 animal patients at a time, everything from owls and turtles to squirrels and opossums. The only animals the WCC does not take in are raccoons and bats, because of the potential for rabies, along with invasive species like starlings.
A handful of permanently disabled animals live at the WCC full-time and are kept by staff for educational and community outreach programs. Of the animals that have a permanent residence at the WCC, four are owls. There are two Screech Owls, a Great Horned Owl and a Barred Owl that stay at the center. Living with the owls is a Red Tailed Hawk, an American kestrel and a Virginia Opossum.
To find out about volunteering at the WCC or if you know of an animal that might benefit from the wildlife center’s care, you can find more information here.