This morning I read an article on CNN Heroes about a woman named Mona Rutger. It is people like her that inspire me to want to work in wildlife rehabilitation. It is by no means a career that is going to bring you wealth and fame, but it is a career so rewarding that you will feel like the wealthiest person in the world.
Licensed wildlife rehabilitators, especially those not working in a larger established facility, give up all of their time, money, sweat, and tears to try and heal wounded wildlife and return them to their rightful home in the wild. Rutger is quoted in the article saying “Everyone says, ‘Let nature take its course,’ but 90% of these animals’ injuries are human-related. That’s not nature. It’s us.”
That is how I originally became interested in wildlife rehab back when I did my first rehabilitation internship at the Missouri Wildlife Rescue Center. I noticed so many animals coming in with human caused injuries. Hit by a car, attacked by a dog, hit with a lawn mower, and firework injuries around the Fourth of July. Humans need to be more careful in their interactions with nature and realize that these animals are living breathing souls as well. I can’t tell you how many opossums, for example, came in during my internship dead from being hit by a car but with live babies still in their pouch. Because the human may not have seen the mother, those joeys are now orphans.
Mona Rutger and others like her are truly inspirational for people like me who hope to enter the rehabilitation field. I can only hope that people appreciate what people like that do. Rehabilitation facilities usually rely entirely on donations and volunteer help so I encourage anyone interested to donate to your local center and even volunteer to help out if you have time.