The Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s von Arx Wildlife Hospital has stepped up to meet the challenges of a surging number of admissions and is asking the public to step up to help sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife. Its virtual Wildlife Hospital Baby Shower runs through Saturday, June 5, to raise awareness and support for its youngest patients.
The von Arx Wildlife Hospital treats more than 4,000 patients a year–and is experiencing a 27 percent increase in admissions over last year. During spring and summer, patient intakes typically double because it’s breeding and nesting season (hence the idea of a baby shower). Admissions also rise with the prevalence of red tide, which has been impacting Collier County’s coastline since November, as sea turtles and shorebirds fall ill with brevetoxicosis from the harmful algae blooms.
“The von Arx Wildlife Hospital team’s dedication to caring for any mammal, bird or reptile is beyond compare,” said Wildlife Hospital Director Joanna Fitzgerald. “While baby animals require extensive time and focus, there is nothing more rewarding than raising the myriad of young wild animal babies admitted every year.”
From renesting a young osprey in a 70-foot Norfolk pine tree (with the aid of a Marco Island Fire-Rescue bucket truck) to ushering in the birth of a bat baby to caring for 26 baby Eastern cottontail rabbits after many of their nests were disturbed by domestic dogs and cats, find out what has been keeping Fitzgerald busy at her blog, A Week Inside the von Arx Wildlife Hospital.