South Florida's Wild Side - Summer 2022

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WILDSIDE SOUTH FLORIDA’S

Summer 2022

South Florida Wildlife Center’s Quarterly Newsletter | Education | Patient Updates | Events

Read more about

FLEET WEEK AT SFWC CATCH UP WITH

our friends in Italy

Congratulations to our 2022

PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS!

www.SouthFloridaWildlifeCenter.org

(954) 524 - 4302 • Hours: 9:00AM - 5:00PM


STAFF Executive Director Alessandra Medri Medical Director Charlotte Cournoyer, DVM Director of Outreach Carolina Montano Office Manager JoAnne Mayz Bookkeeper Sherry Varrone Nursery Supervisor Jessica Sayre Sonzogni Clinic Supervisor Shelby Slevin

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Updates from Italy

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2022 Photo Contest Winners

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Mid-year Report

14 | Wild Lecture Series

Release Supervisor Mariangelique Diaz Fallick

15 | Second Quarter in Review

Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Khrystyne Jamerson

16 | Patient Highlights

Lead Community Service Coordinator Camila Pulido

19 | Species Spotlight - Purple Gallinule

Outreach Specialist Jessica McHugh

20 | Fleet Week in Fort Lauderdale

Lead Wildlife Rehabilitators: Nick Sonzogni Melanie Lemieux

22 | Virtual Baby Shower Success

Veterinary Assistants: Sandy Pagel Hailey Rogala Anna Stryjek Joscelyn Phillips

RESCUE REHABILITATE RELEASE & EDUCATE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Rehabilitation Supervisor Maria Vanegas

Wildlife Rehabilitators: Jessica Ferrigno Lisa Bergwin Tristan Colon Erika Piechowski Oasis Saenz Crysta Chabriel Oasis Saenz Aaysha McCrae Rebecca Dobrasz Jessie-Eileen Cottone Janina Morejon

Our mission:

SOUTH FLORIDA’S

23 | New Sponsorship Program 24 | Baby Season at SFWC 26 | Volunteer Program

This spring, we welcomed four Wildlife Education Interns to the Outreach Department at SFWC. This was the first year this internship has been offered, and we are forever grateful for their help in spreading awareness of our local wildlife.

Cover photo credit, Crested Caracara by Brian Scherf

Facilities Manager Glenn Georgis Facility Technicians: Anthony Weare Adam Sheets David Grant

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jeffrey J. Arciniaco President, Board Chairman Thomas J. Sabatino Jr. Vice Chairman, Secretary Thomas A. Bartelmo Treasurer Ardath Rosengarden Director Doug Koger Director Eric L. Bernthal Director

Special shout out to Capital Preparatory Harbor School! These students came from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to help our wildlife rehabbers for a week. We appreciated their hard work and passion for wildlife and were amazed by their eagerness to assist wherever needed, especially during the busy baby season! Capital Prep Harbor is a K-12 College Preparatory School with a Social Justice Lens. #wearecapitalprep


Photo by Irene Alison

These four fluffy, hungry owls arrived at LIPU Wildlife Center of Rome this past January. The brood of owls survived a fall from their nest during the pruning of a palm tree. During their stay in LIPU, these pullets (chicks in Italian) grew. They learned to eat independently and experienced their first flight in the rehabilitation aviaries alongside adult owls. This allowed them to learn vocalizations and behaviors they could not have known growing up among humans. They were released in the spring and returned to the wild. Read more on the next page for other amazing updates from our “twin center” in Italy and the great work they do for wildlife. southfloridawildlifecenter.org | 3


UPDATES FROM ITALY LIPU is the association for conserving nature, protecting biodiversity, and promoting ecological culture in Italy. Every year they treat more than 15,000 wild animals in distress in numerous Recovery or First Aid Centers throughout the country. They also manage 30 protected Oases and Reserves where the public can visit and fall in love with nature. SFWC created a partnership with LIPU in January of this year. Through this prestigious international alliance, the LIPU Wildlife Center of Rome and SFWC will: share valuable information, foster collaboration, and promote international externships to cross-train staff in the fields of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, and outreach. Patient stories that mirror what we see at SFWC include a second chance for a fox who needed an amputation, an endangered species now telling his story as an ambassador animal, and an orphaned squirrel raised by the staff that was released into the wild when ready. The LIPU Wildlife Center of Rome also admits orphaned animals to their center. The European squirrel is an example of the many they see during the season found abandoned or injured due to the destruction of nests or predation. At this size, European squirrels should be with their parents. A predator likely destroyed the nest resulting in this baby becoming orphaned. Squirrels do not nest inside the hollows of trees but, like birds, at the bifurcation of branches, in a small structure made of twigs, straw, and leaves. In these cases, weaning is difficult because squirrel milk is not easy to replicate. This little one was handfed at regular intervals during the day and night. Fortunately, the squirrel reacted well and grew thanks to the care of staff and volunteers. Like SFWC, our staff and volunteers play a critical role in helping raise orphaned wildlife and care for patients undergoing rehabilitation for release back into the wild. This young fox tells the story of an animal who has overcome adversity and has been able to beat all the odds. Rescuers brought her to the LIPU Center in Rome after being run over by a car. She arrived with an exposed fracture of the tibia, a necrotic bone, and meager chances of survival. Staff at the LIPU Center made the difficult decision to amputate one of her back legs to save her life. Animals have a variety of coping mechanisms that allow them to thrive on three legs. Balancing is especially easy for cats, squirrels, foxes, and other animals with long tails. These animals can use their long fluffy tails as counterbalances when climbing atop narrow structures. This fox’s recovery was nothing more than miraculous. She jumped and snooped around the hospital in no time, growing and re-learning how to move with fantastic agility on only three legs. Often staff saw her looking out, anxious to return to the wild where she belonged. Finally, after completing her rehabilitation in the spring, she was released back into her natural habitat in a LIPU Nature Preserve. Stories like these remind us how strong and determined wild animals are to thrive.

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In a wildlife hospital, there are many stories to be shared. Sad stories that we always try to learn from, stories with happy endings that stay in our hearts forever, and other stories that leave a bittersweet taste. Hannibal’s story is a bittersweet one. Hannibal is a rare specimen of Northern Bald Ibis (also known as Hermit Ibis, or Waldrapp - Geronticus eremita). It is one of the most endangered bird species worldwide. As a protected individual of the Waldrappteam Project (which works on reintroducing the Northern Bald Ibis in Europe through the creation of breeding colonies), Hannibal had been seriously injured by poachers during one of his migrations. The team brought him to LIPU Wildlife Center of Rome following a complicated wing operation. After two months of recovery, it was necessary to amputate the wing due to the developed necrosis. Hannibal will never fly again, but he recovered despite everything and got a second chance at life. His resilience and relationship with his caretakers led LIPU staff to believe he could lead a dignified life. Hannibal joined the team as an ambassador of wildlife in the human community. LIPU states they “can offer you all the care you need to live peacefully, hoping that your story will be a warning about the importance of respect for other species.”

Photos courtesy of Irene Alison


SFWC PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS Wildlife photography is one of the most challenging and rewarding subjects to explore with a camera. From intimate interactions to majestic migrations, it challenges photographers both technically and creatively to capture meaningful images that tell the stories of the animals around us. Beautiful coastal habitats, forests, prairies, and the Everglades surround us. Even with these natural areas, the wildlife who call South Florida home had to get creative where they live, forage or hunt for food and where to raise their babies safely. This contest is meant to encourage people to go outside and appreciate our wild neighbors. South Florida Wildlife Center’s second annual Wildlife Photography Contest received nearly 1,000 entries from throughout the country. Each photo offered a glimpse into the vast diversity of wildlife we are so lucky to share our home with. Congratulations to our eight winners for their outstanding work and talent in capturing these photos. Our juniors even tied for winning the category! Though only a few could win, we truly appreciate the incredible talent and support we received this year. We will showcase entry photos on social media, in other publications, throughout our new website, and in a 2023 calendar. We are already looking forward to next year!

A special thank you to Clyde Butcher and his team for helping us judge all the entries. The BIRD winner is featured as the cover photo: Crested Caracara by Brian Scherf

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JUNIOR

Great Horned Owl by Henry Peter

JUNIOR

Reddish Egret By Joshua Rubin

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MAMMAL

White-tailed Deer by Erin M Smith American Alligator by Phoenix Marks

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REPTILE


UP CLOSE

Marine Iguana by Peter Cross

URBAN

Blue Jay by Pamela Goldberg

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OVERALL WINNER Osprey and Brown Pelican by Carlos Paillacar

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So, what is happening in this action shot? A tale as old as time - piracy. According to Stanford University, birds will generally steal from each other just about anything that is not fixed on a surface. They steal mates, nesting material, eggs, and prey. The term “piracy,” however, is generally restricted to the harassment of one bird by another in order to force the first to give up food. Both Ospreys and Brown Pelicans are proficient fish catchers but have vastly different techniques on how they hunt. Pelicans are well-known fish thieves and will even steal food from other pelicans. Pilfering a meal, however cunning it may be, seems a bit easier sometimes, and a variety of sea birds have been noted to practice this behavior. Ospreys will plunge into the water talons-first and grab fish with the help of their reversible outer toes and barbed footpads—pelicans, on the other hand, like to dive headfirst and scoop up fish into their beaks and then drain the water from their gular pouches before swallowing their prey whole. In this case, an Osprey was trying to catch a nice meal, and a Brown Pelican tried to be clever and steal the fish right from the Osprey’s talons instead of hunting for his own. This Florida wildlife photographer captured this rare footage from the Sebastian Inlet in Melbourne Beach during an Osprey and Pelican feeding frenzy. This masterful shot shows a side of nature that showcases the different techniques for survival, including that of theft. Carlos Paillacar was alongside Mark Smith, a YouTube Content Creator and nature photographer who recorded and narrated this very scene. To watch this shot in action, check out this amazing video footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DBOsCyUQiA

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MID-YEAR REPORT January 1, 2022 - June 30, 2022 The South Florida Wildlife Center has admitted over 5,000 patients from 190 species over the last six months. That is a 6.7% decrease from last year. We are optimistic that increased educational efforts have made the community more aware of how their actions impact the environment and wildlife. The top three reasons for admittance to our hospital include orphaned wildlife (53.5% of intake), injuries from unknown causes (15.9%), and vehicle collisions (13.8%). Thankfully, most babies admitted were healthy nestling and fledgling birds. In these cases, finders were willing to put them back so they could continue being raised by their parents. True orphans or those who sustained injuries completed treatment and transitioned to our nursery for daily care. Injuries our hospital staff has treated include superficial wounds, fractures, and ailments like botulism, to name a few. SFWC has also seen an increase in certain raptor species arriving very weak with no specific cause. We are working with other wildlife organizations and professionals to ensure we are providing our patients the best care possible. The diversity of our patients is always astounding. In the first half of 2022, we have accepted 3,233 birds, 1,651 mammals, and 134 reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Our most common patient was the Virginia Opossum at 978 individuals. These individuals made up 19.5% of our total patient intake. One of the rare species admitted to our hospital was the Pileated Woodpecker. The last time we saw this species was May 2021. Additional species that also had not been seen since 2020 included a Sandhill crane, a bobcat, and a snapping turtle. For the first time since 2014, SFWC also had the pleasure of helping two orphaned White-tailed deer fawns. We anticipate the next six months to be as exciting as the first. We are proud of our community for learning why re-nesting efforts are vital for the success of young wildlife. To learn more about our work, how you can get involved, or have questions about co-existing with local wildlife, check out our website and follow along on social media!

@SOUTHFLORIDAWILDLIFECENTER

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One of the 256 Northern Mockingbirds admitted so far!

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WILD LECTURE SERIES

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation

Co-existing with Wildlife

Ocean Conservation

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Coordinator at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Whitney Crowder, goes over how humans impact sea turtles and what you can do to help them.

SFWC’s former Medical Director, Dr. Gardner, discussed co-existing with our wild neighbors and how to share our backyards in South Florida’s urban jungle.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Conservation team goes over their conservation efforts and the threats facing sea turtles locally and globally.

The South Florida Wildlife Center offers a free monthly virtual series of public lectures covering various topics presented by professionals in their respective fields. We hope those who join us learn something new about nature, how it correlates to wildlife, and what we do at SFWC. Missed our talks this quarter? Check them out on our YouTube channel! 14 | South Florida’s WildSide | Summer 2022


SECOND QUARTER IN REVIEW April 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022

Total Patients Total Species

3,237

144

Birds 2216 Mammals 934 Reptiles 83 Amphibians 4

This Cooper’s Hawk was admitted to SFWC as a nestling who was thought to be orphaned. Please keep reading to learn about the amazing success we had in reuniting him with his family.

Volunteers/Interns/Externs

102

Hours Donated

5,763

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WILDLIFE REH

PATIENT HI

During baby season, it is common to see young birds on the ground after hopping out of their nest while learning to fly. Mothers continue caring for these fledglings on the ground; however, they often become prey to predators such as raccoons or stray animals if they are not truly fledglings. Nestlings who fall from their nest unexpectedly are those who need your help. Adult birds cannot pick these babies up and return them to the nest. Typically, birds do not have the best sense of smell, and as a rule of thumb, it is always best for mom and baby to remain together. Babies may still be cared for by their parents if placed in a substitute nest.

Patient #22-3340 A Cooper’s Hawk brought in from Fort Lauderdale, FL on 9 May 2022

The re-nesting of young raptors is an ideal option when the bird is uninjured and healthy. When our veterinarian medically clears the bird, our release supervisor will re-nest the babies with their parents. Raptor parents are notorious for providing excellent care to their young. When possible, we must always attempt a reunion. Some cases, such as this young Cooper’s hawk, where the adult hawks were not caring for it, will leave us in charge of raising and caring for the baby until suitable to re-attempt a re-nest or until it is ready to be released into the wild once more independent. On arrival, veterinary staff noticed the hawk was slightly thin but had not sustained injuries from the fall and remained alert and active. This nestling was infested with mites and tested positive for Trichomoniasis. This disease is transmitted between birds through direct contact and is highly transmittable. Symptoms of Trichomoniasis include appetite and weight loss but can be treatable if caught early.

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Our veterinary staff started a treatment plan and isolated this hawk in ICU before moving it into a small raptor mew to finish its rehabilitation. In falconry, a mew is a largescale enclosure designed to house one or more birds of prey. After four days of care and a final negative test for Trichomoniasis, our release supervisor returned this little one to his nest to reunite with his mom. The finder updated us later in the day that mom was taking care of him and the family was doing great!


HABILITATION

IGHLIGHTS

Armadillo is Spanish, meaning “little armored one,” and refers to the bony plates covering their back, head, legs, and tail. They are the A Nine-banded Armadillo brought in from only living mammals that have this distinctive type of shell. There are more than 20 different Davie, FL on 28 April 2022 species of armadillo. They are found in North, Central, and South America and are primarily solitary, nocturnal, and found in a vast range of habitats from rainforests to grassland to dry scrub.

Patient #22-2882

This little one was found alone with no adult nearby. Armadillos are usually born in quadruplets, so seeing her so young and all alone was odd. Intake notes state she had abrasions to her feet and legs and was cold but was otherwise alert and mobile. Once stable, clinic staff transferred the armadillo to the nursery where they would care for her until she became more independent. While in the nursery, she did undergo treatment for respiratory issues and constipation. Our staff provided her with nebulizing treatments to help with her brief respiratory issues, stool softeners, and an enema to help her discomfort. Armadillos tend to do better with others of their kind. We transferred the armadillo to another rehabilitation facility where she could continue to develop with other armadillos of her age. Armadillos do not have a significant number of predators once they are adults. One reason for their proliferation across the U.S. is the significantly reduced number of apex predators in their habitats. Natural predators of adult armadillos include bears, pumas, wolves, coyotes, jaguars, alligators, and bobcats. Juvenile armadillos must contend with additional predators, including raccoons and birds of prey. The number one decline of armadillos, regardless of age, is humans. Armadillos are hunted for meat and shells and killed in significant numbers by vehicles. Upon release, the most important obstacle to survival is proximity to roads and hunters. Though in 2021, we only admitted five armadillos from all over South Florida, we strive to continue bringing awareness to these amazing creatures southfloridawildlifecenter.org | 17 as they are also learning how to survive in our urban jungle.


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SPECIES SPOTLIGHT PURPLE GALLINULE Porphyrio martinicus

The Purple Gallinule is more commonly referred to as the Purple Swamphen and is easily recognizable by its size, large feet, red bill, and bright plumage.

A swamphen is one of a variety of aquatic birds of the family Rallidae that frequent wet areas. An adult Purple gallinule has purple-blue plumage that will shine green and turquoise when in good lighting. The top part of the beak extends over the forehead and forms a front plate or shield; this is often a characteristic of many swamphens, coots, and moorhens. Coloration is dark when this species is young and lightens as they age. The Purple Gallinule is known to nest and migrate to areas around the world. Their range extends from the southeast United States to Mexico, Central, and South America. Although the Purple Gallinule has claw-like feet that are not webbed, it can be highly proficient while swimming in water. Although its size, shape, and appearance can seem clumsy, this species can also fly. These long-legged, long-toed birds step gingerly across water lilies and other floating vegetation as they hunt frogs and invertebrates. Their long toes make it possible to walk on lily pads, and they are one of the few birds able to do so! They can also be quite noisy birds making either booming or bleating sounds that tend to be more pronounced during the breeding season. They prefer to inhabit waterside and lake environments where they nest in reed beds and will typically produce 3 to 6 eggs that are pale yellow and spotted with reddishbrown dots. These birds prefer living in pairs and large communal groups to provide protection and safety for their species. Purple gallinules are not globally threatened; however, populations of these birds are decreasing due to the loss of their wetland habitat, pesticides, and predation from alligators and turtles. These birds are vulnerable to declines in water quality, including changes in water levels, pollution, and runoff. Loss of wetland habitat from draining or conversion to other uses is also a problem. Clearing vegetation from wetlands to create more open water may also make the habitat less suitable for them. By partaking in your local wetland conservation, you will be able to help this species continue to thrive and all those with who they share their habitat. Patient # 22-2910 featured here was found in Weston FL, as a hatchling. Despite all efforts to unite him with his family, he was admitted to our nursery due to being orphaned and has been growing eagerly ever since!

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FLEET WEEK AT SFWC Fleet Week is a United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard tradition in which active military ships recently deployed in overseas operations dock in a variety of major cities for one week. Following a two-year hiatus, Fort Lauderdale, FL, hosted its 30th Annual Fleet Week from May 1st to May 8th, 2022. The visiting ships include two U.S. Navy destroyers, the USS Lassen (DDG-82) and USS Delbert Black (DDG-119), and USCGC William Flores (WPC-1103). The Lassen and Delbert Black are both Arleigh Burke-class destroyers based at Mayport Naval Station, and the William Flores is a Fast Response Coast Guard Cutter from Miami. Fleet Week Port Everglades has been hosted by Broward Navy Days and other military support organizations since 1990. It provides an opportunity for the citizens of South Florida to witness first-hand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services and better understand how the sea services support naval strategy and the national defense of the U.S. The South Florida Wildlife Center hosted a large-scale service project for more than 30 Active Duty military troops on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022, as part of Fort Lauderdale’s Fleet Week. Sailors and military leaders from across the country did strenuous physical work as they helped build, refurbish, clean, and organize four large wildlife habitats at the Center. Rear Admiral John Menoni, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO, and Admiral for Fleet Week, attended this event.

To all of our military, past, and present, thank you for your service to this country. Thank you for your sacrifice, courage, and dedication to keeping us safe.

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VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER A HUGE thank you to our supporters for making this year’s virtual baby shower so fun and successful! The much-needed supplies you donated will help us raise the many orphans who come into our care this time each year. In general, we just wanted to thank you all for the care and support you’ve given us during this 2022 Baby Season. We are so grateful to have such a caring community who are just as loving and supportive of wildlife and our environment as we are. The staff in our wildlife hospital work incredibly hard to educate the public about the increase in babies during the spring and support the patients that get admitted every day. Your donations truly help us heal and raise hundreds of orphans each season. Without you, our work would not be possible, and we are forever grateful for your support.

A Special THANK YOU to Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida Troop # 14005 Troop # 10129 Troop # 14206 Summit-Questa Montessori School 2022 - 8th Grade Class for coordinating large donations from our wishlists! You are all amazing!


SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM 2022 Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities Join the many corporations, businesses, and other organizations that support South Florida Wildlife Center’s work to rescue, rehabilitate and release wild animals, through education, raising public awareness, and community action. Our new Corporate Environmental Stewardship program is a partnership between your business and South Florida Wildlife Center. Our mission is to inspire stewardship of native wildlife species, our environment, and ecosystems through education, research, and conservation. Corporate Environmental Stewards help us reach those goals while enjoying special opportunities, including corporate events and being a named partner at our SouthFlorida Wildlife Center event(s), among other benefits. An annual commitment of $1500 as a Corporate Environmental Steward includes marketing and recognition opportunities: Certificate identifying your business as a SFWC corporate environmental steward. Company name and logo on our corporate sponsor page on our website. Annual acknowledgement of your business contribution on social media platforms. Prominent listing in South Florida Wildlife Center’s 2022 Annual Report. Listing in quarterly newsletters and other printed materials. Company name and logo displayed at the South Florida Wildlife Center Resource Center and during SFWC Special Events. A guided tour of our Wildlife Center upon request and by appointment.

If your business would like to be a part of this partnership, please reach out to southfloridawildlifecenter.org development@southfloridawildlifecenter.org.

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BABY SEASON (SO FAR) The spring months in Florida bring wildlife baby season to its peak. With over 5,000 wild animals admitted so far in 2022, and over 300 patients currently residing in our rehabilitation center, we are indeed in our busiest time of year! We are currently averaging over 40 patient admissions daily, plus hundreds of phone calls and emails inquiring about wildlife in distress and requests for rescues. The wildlife we admit includes a variety of songbirds, raptors, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Many of these animals are injured -- attacked by cats, collided with windows, entrapped in netting, or hit by vehicles while some are orphaned. We are always here to receive and treat patients every day of the week; still, it is crucial to keep in mind that if a baby animal is found by someone who feels the urge to rescue them, a few steps must be first taken to identify if it is truly orphaned and if there is genuinely a need for that animal to be rescued. The majority of the time, the parents of the babies have not abandoned them but are instead searching and collecting food for them, which, depending on the species of the animal, can take several hours. The most important thing to do is observe if the baby is hurt or in distress, and if not, wait to determine if the mother returns. Bird and squirrel mothers typically return in a couple of hours, while cottontail rabbit mothers only visit at dusk to avoid attracting predators. If you waited and have not seen the parent return, or if you find an injured baby or one that your pet has brought to you, call us right away. When we admit orphaned animals due to injuries, or when we are not able to reunite them with their families in the wild, despite all efforts, they will typically undergo rehabilitation in our nursery to either heal from their injuries, or continue with their development until they’re more independent. The care these orphaned babies receive consists of round-the-clock feedings, cleaning, and medical treatment.

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At SFWC, we work to ensure all species can coexist— not just by raising orphans and treating injured or sick wild animals in general, but also by teaching the community to understand and appreciate wildlife. By sharing our knowledge on how to live peacefully with the animals amongst us, and by advocating for better protection of our local wildlife and our remaining open spaces, we can create a better future for all.


Over 1,000 oprhans have been admitted so far and the second wave of the season has yet to come.

Baby season in Florida runs from February to October Some of the species we’ve seen this baby season include Nine-banded Armadillos, a Bobcat, Northern Yellow Bats, Grey Foxes, Raccoons, Virginia Opossums, Northern Mockingbirds, Loggerhead Shrikes, Green Herons, Purple Gallinules, Common Moorhens, Blue Jays, Gray Squirrels, Downy Woodpeckers and Fish Crows.


At SFWC, there are many opportunities for volunteers to learn about the hundreds of species of wildlife found in South Florida while helping them recover from injuries, illnesses, and the trauma of being orphaned. By ensuring that we have enough volunteers scheduled to cover all tasks and shifts, we know our patients will have the care they need and deserve. Our facility operates seven days a week, with various shifts to choose from, depending on the volunteer position. With so many diverse opportunities, you can find the right job for you! Commitment policy: Volunteers must commit to a minimum of 8 hours per month. Shifts are in 3 – 4 hour increments so at least 2 – 3 shifts per month are needed to meet the minimum time requirement. Age restrictions: Those under 16 are not eligible to volunteer on SFWC property. Process of applying If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the volunteer application on our website. After reviewing your application, you will be invited to attend an orientation at SFWC! For more information, please visit our website at southfloridawildlifecenter.org/howyoucanhelp or contact our Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator at kjamerson@southfloridawildlifecenter.org

Check out our website for Internship/Externship Opportunities! southfloridawildlifecenter.org/internships-and-externships

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VOLUNTEER PROGRAM Volunteering with wildlife is a rewarding, fun and unique opportunity! Volunteer opportunities include the following: Animal Care - Clinic Assisting Vet Staff with duties including drawing up medication, administering medication, feeding patients, handling animals, cleaning and feeding in the designated areas/habitats, and prepping ICU patients’ diets. Animal Care - Nursery Assist with the care of our orphaned wildlife by helping with diet preparation, dishes, general clean-up, and cleaning enclosures. Animal Care - Rehab Assist with the care of our injured or sick wildlife by helping with diet preparation, dishes, general clean-up, and cleaning enclosures. Wildlife Rescue For volunteers interested in picking up contained animals to bring to the South Florida Wildlife Center for treatment. This is an on-call position to pick up animals that were contained by their finders. Outreach & Education Assist the Outreach Department with educational initiatives, media footage, customer service and public presentations. Development Assist the Development Department with fundraising and donor appreciation. Maintenance/Beautification Projects Working with Facilities team on ground maintenance, exhibit repairs, etc. Having your own basic tools is helpful but not required. Projects may include: tree trimming, lawn mowing, weeding, raking, etc., with staff’s guidance. HomeCare Heroes You’ll receive instruction and support from SFWC staff as you feed and care for orphaned infants in your home; then you’ll bring the animals back to SFWC for southfloridawildlifecenter.org final rehabilitation and release.

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Photo by Irene Alison

Hannibal, the Northern Bald Ibis at the LIPU Wildlife Center of Rome.

Learn more

southfloridawildlifecenter.org 954 524 4302 info@southfloridawildlifecenter.org 3200 SW 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315 Hours: 9:00AM - 5:00PM @SouthFloridaWildlifeCenter