The center staff think this may have something to do with the recent wildfires.
The conservation center has been kept busy by all the new baby animals they’ve been taking in. So far, they’ve taken in about 200, which is double the amount they had at this time last year.
The vets there say it’s taking a toll and employees are working longer hours, so they’re hoping the public can help.
Khymberly Lewis, a vet tech at Southwest Wildlife Center, describes the influx of animals. “The babies are typically coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, skunks, and we’ve had a few random ones like bears and porcupines.”
Center leaders are attributing the increase to new real estate development, warm temperatures and nearby fires.
“We’ve been going through formula and other diet products like crazy. We’ve even had to be looking into building larger enclosures to accommodate the increase capacity,” said Lewis.
Throughout the year, the nonprofit rescues and rehabilitates dozens of wild animals. Most are orphaned. The goal is to release them back into the wild.
“Typically it’s injured parents where they get separated from their children, so we’ll see a lot of ‘hit by car’ cases, or people have traps out for them, or even poisonings are common.”
On average, it takes about five to six months to go through the rehab process. Those who can’t go back out find a permanent home in the sanctuary.
“It can be heartbreaking sometimes to see the cases that could’ve been avoided from injury just from people not knowing how to handle the case,” said Lewis.
Lewis says a lot of times babies end up at the center because they think they’ve been orphaned.
If you encounter a wild animal, she recommends you call the center before you intervene. If you’re interested in helping out or finding out more about what they do, you can find more information at ABC 15.