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October 15, 2012

Kind News Feature: All In a Day's Work

The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, Calif., helps orphaned and injured wild animals

Kind News magazine

  • This orphaned bobcat kitten was found drinking from a backyard pool.

  • The kitten was rescued and brought to The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center to recover. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Hannah the pygmy hippo, the cover model for this issue of Kind News, is one of the center's permanent residents. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Chewy the coyote couldn't be released into the wild, so he calls the wildlife center home. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Samson the lion was born in captivity and now lives at the center, where he gets the best care possible. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Thirty-nine cats who were rescued from San Nicolas Island now live at the center. Watch them on our cat cam! Kathy Milani/The HSUS

Ali Crumpacker studied the photos of two bobcat kittens on her computer screen. “They’re obviously way too young to be on their own,” said Crumpacker, director of The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, Calif.

It also looked like the kittens hadn’t been groomed in a while—something a mother bobcat would do. Crumpacker decided to investigate.

The photos had been taken by someone who spotted the kittens in his backyard. Concerned that they might be orphans, he knew the Wildlife Center could help them.

Center staff arrived at the property prepared to set up humane traps and then wait for the kittens to return. To  their surprise, one of the kittens was already there, drinking from the pool!

After catching them both, the kittens were brought to the center for medical exams. The staff hoped they would soon be on their way to recovery.

Home Sweet Sanctuary

More than 380 injured and orphaned animals like this bobcat pair came through the Wildlife Center last year. The staff nurse the animals back to health and prepare them for return to the wild.

"We always get them when they’re really down," says wildlife caretaker Kim Spall. "But then to see them go back out in the wild … it’s just really beautiful."

Some animals, however, are not able to return to the wild. For them, the 13-acre center becomes a permanent sanctuary. Today it’s home to 16 bobcats, three mountain lions, one coyote, one African lion, and a pygmy hippo—along with 39 cats rescued from San Nicolas Island in California!

Each of the animals, like Hannah the pygmy hippo, Samson the lion, and Chewy the coyote, live in conditions as close to their natural habitat as possible. All are cared for with love.

How (and when) to help your wild animal neighbors

The man who saw the bobcat kittens in his backyard did the right  thing. He contacted experts who could decide what, if any, help the animals needed.

Signs that a wild animal needs your help:

  • A cat or dog presents the animal to you.
  • There is evidence of bleeding or a possible broken limb.
  • You see a featherless or nearly featherless bird on the ground.
  • The animal is shivering.
  • There is a dead parent nearby.

If you see the above signs, ask an adult to find help for the animal. Be prepared—look up the numbers for animal control and a wildlife rehabilitator near you. Keep them near your phone. Learn more about how to help injured or orphaned animals.

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