Giving wildlife a helping hand: A new rehabilitation center - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Giving wildlife a helping hand: A new rehabilitation center

(The trailer that will be converted into the new rehabilitation center. Source: KFDA) (The trailer that will be converted into the new rehabilitation center. Source: KFDA)
(Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)
(Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)
Vivien Young, Executive Director of the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center Vivien Young, Executive Director of the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center
Stephanie Oravetz, Founder of Wild West Wildlife Rehabilition Stephanie Oravetz, Founder of Wild West Wildlife Rehabilition

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A new wildlife rehabilitation center is coming to Amarillo. 

Wildcat Bluff Nature Center and Stephanie Oravetz of Wild West Wildlife Rehabilitation are working together to help save more of of the area wildlife population by converting a donated double-wide trailer into a wildlife rehabilitation center just down the road from Wildcat Bluff. 

Wildcat Bluff officials say the organization has dreamed of opening a rehabilitation center since it first opened its doors.

Now that they've joined forces with Oravetz, those dreams are coming true. 

"Well, the original vision for Wildcat Bluff Nature Center included doing wildlife rehabilitation," Executive Director Vivien Young said. "That had kind of gone by the wayside over the years, so when we connected with Oravetz of Wild West Wildlife Rehabilitation, and when we put her in communication with Mary Emeny, who owned the trailer, it was one of those matches made in heaven. It enables us to return to our original purpose."

The new center will help all different types of animals such as squirrels, skunks, raccoon, coyotes, and birds. 

But, before they can open for business they will be renovating the trailer. 

"She's an older building and she needs a lot of work, but her bones are strong and she survived all these storms and nothing has happened to her other than some cosmetic stuff, which we can work on," Oravetz, said. 

They will be restoring the building with the help of some local volunteers. 

Oravetz said they will tear down the walls, replace insulation, redo the flooring, fix the ceilings, and much more. When the renovation is finished, the trailer will have nine rooms consisting of drop off area where people can bring injured animals and other rooms to house small mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and more. 

Young said animals can be dropped off at the rehabilitation center or residents can call Wild Bluff (806-352-6007) or Wild West Wildlife (806-680-2483) and have staff pick the animals up themselves. 

Oravetz said the center is a great need for the area because of our huge wildlife population. Within the past five months she has rehabilitated over 200 animals. 

Wildcat Bluff is hoping to have the rehabilitation center ready before summer. 

"We want it done as soon as possible because we're not even in the busy time of the season," Oravetz said, "We've got 26 opossums in care, we've had 31 cottontails, 17 squirrels, we have several owls, so we're going to need a location because then we can start getting volunteers and that can help us with the feedings and things like that. It's a wonderful to teach others and pass along what we've learned."

Oravetz said most people who rehabilitate small animals work out of their homes, so having a space like this will allow them to help more animals. 

The new center will only be for rehabilitation and drop off, but if animals cannot be released back into the wild they will be used for educational purposes at Wildcat Bluff. 

"Of course we love rehabilitating and getting them back out in the wild, that's always 100 percent our goal," Oravetz said. "The release is so important to us, but education is important because learning to coexist with your wildlife [is important]. I always try and tell people, 'Remember, they were here first' a lot of the time people call them a nuisance, but we're actually the nuisance. We come here and we wreck their homes and then they get in our stuff, but we've destroyed their habitats and so their looking to us for food now. But we love it when we can educate the public so that they look at wildlife different and instead of harming they want to help." 

Young hopes the center will allow more people to help save our wildlife population.

"We hope it provides our local area with a place where wildlife can be taken care of if it gets into trouble, and it usually gets into trouble largely because of humanity's intervention," Young said. 

If you would like to volunteer on April 23 visit the Wildcat Bluff Nature Center's website for more information. 

The renovation will begin at 10 a.m. Small children will be able to enjoy a presentation by the Animals of the High Plains.

If you can't volunteer your time, Young said they are in need of supplies for the renovation.

They are asking for any donations such as gift cards to Home Depot or Lowe's and R-19 board foam insulation. They said you can also donate money on their website, which is a tax deductible.

For more information about supplies needed or about volunteering call the center at 806-352-6007. 

Copyright 2016 KFDA. All rights reserved.

  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Going for the gold: Four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the national games

    Going for the gold: Four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the national games

    Thursday, June 21 2018 11:40 PM EDT2018-06-22 03:40:09 GMT
    Dozens gather to celebrate the four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the USA Games / Source: Advo CompaniesDozens gather to celebrate the four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the USA Games / Source: Advo Companies
    Dozens gather to celebrate the four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the USA Games / Source: Advo CompaniesDozens gather to celebrate the four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the USA Games / Source: Advo Companies

    Four athletes will represent the Panhandle in this year's Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle for the first time in nearly two decades. To commemorate this honor, the community gathered today to give the athletes a special send-off. Law enforcement led the way as dozens lined 45th Avenue to send our champions off in style.  The send-off party continued with a pep rally packed with fans who wanted to shower three powerlifters and one bocce player with love and support. ...

    Four athletes will represent the Panhandle in this year's Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle for the first time in nearly two decades. To commemorate this honor, the community gathered today to give the athletes a special send-off. Law enforcement led the way as dozens lined 45th Avenue to send our champions off in style.  The send-off party continued with a pep rally packed with fans who wanted to shower three powerlifters and one bocce player with love and support. ...

  • Protecting your dogs in the summer heat

    Protecting your dogs in the summer heat

    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:19 PM EDT2018-06-22 02:19:35 GMT
    Breeds with flat faces like French Bulldogs are at a higher risk but any breed can easily heat up to the point of danger. (Source: KFDA)Breeds with flat faces like French Bulldogs are at a higher risk but any breed can easily heat up to the point of danger. (Source: KFDA)

    It's the first day of summer and veterinarians are asking you to be mindful of your pets in the summer heat.

    It's the first day of summer and veterinarians are asking you to be mindful of your pets in the summer heat.

  • Amarillo police searching for suspects in break in, shots fired

    Amarillo police searching for suspects in break in, shots fired

    Thursday, June 21 2018 11:44 AM EDT2018-06-21 15:44:56 GMT
    Source: KFDASource: KFDA

    Amarillo police are searching for suspects who fired shots at a homeowner in the 4400 block of Evelyn Street on Wednesday. 

    Amarillo police are searching for suspects who fired shots at a homeowner in the 4400 block of Evelyn Street on Wednesday. 

Powered by Frankly