VOLUNTEERS FOR WILDLIFE, WITH A MISSION TO RESCUE AND EDUCATE, VISITS SEA CLIFF FARMERS MARKET
With Duncan, an Eastern Screetch Owl, perched on his gloved hand for much of the time, Skip of Volunteers for Wildlife, the Locust Valley-based wildlife hospital and education center, spent the morning at the Sea Cliff Farmers Market this past Saturday morning discussing the organization's efforts as well as giving extensive background on the three rescued animals he had brought with him.
Since 1982, the not-for-profit group that operates on the grounds of Bailey Arboretum has worked to preserve Long Island's wildlife and natural habitats through its educational programs and through its efforts to rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife, accepting upwards of 1,000 patients each year. Some are in a condition that does not allow them to released into the wild and as a result become permanent residents.
Duncan, for instance, one of three Eastern Screetch Owls at the faciltiy, had been released into Central Park as part of a reintroduction effort, only to found in the Bronx and unable to hunt.
Additionally, accompanying Skip and Duncan were an eastern box turtle and an opossum named Marcel, whose toes had been essentially burned off most likely walking through chemicals. Unable to climb and thus unable survive out in the wild, Marcel became a permanent resident. Opossums, Skip explained to the eight or so people assembled there at that particular moment, are the only marsupials that can today be found in the wild in North America. He said that opposum mothers killed by cars have been brought to the center where their nursing pups, still alive, have been cared for until they are ready to be released into the wild.
More information about Volunteers for Wildlife, its residents, and its educational programs can be found by going to the groups website, http://www.volunteersforwildlife.org/ .