Wildlife center needs volunteers for 'baby season'

SYCAMORE – Working with orphaned wildlife takes a special person. And Oaken Acres Wildlife Center in rural Sycamore is looking for some of those special people for the 2013 “baby season.”

Baby season at Oaken Acres is between May 1 and Aug. 1, when it receives about 85 percent of all the animals it cares for each year. This busy time is when most wild babies are born and sometimes orphaned – when mothers are hit by cars or trapped in homes, nests are disturbed by storms, pets and children, or other tragedies befall them.

Most volunteers will have hands-on opportunities that include feeding, cleaning and food preparation. There are also non-animal opportunities, such as reception and answering some of the hundreds of phone calls Oaken Acres receives each season about orphaned and nuisance wild animals.

By law, anyone working with wildlife must be at least 18 years of age. This is not for the faint of heart. Some animals come in badly injured, and some must be euthanized. But nearly two-thirds of the wild animals received at Oaken Acres will be successfully released, most before September.

If you are interested in being considered for a volunteer position, email Director of Operations Christy Gerbitz at christy@oakenacres.org with your name, phone number, email address and your area of interest – mammal babies, songbirds, office, construction and landscaping or fundraising. If you want to know more about Oaken Acres, visit www.oakenacres.org.

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