The Schuylkill Center’s Wildlife Clinic is the only place within Philadelphia’s city limits that rehabilitates abandoned or injured wildlife.
The idea of a wildlife clinic in an urban setting might seem funny to some, but the need for one might surprise you.
“There is a lot more need for a wildlife clinic in an urban environment than you might think, humans are causing a lot of intrusion in the environment with urban sprawl and our tall buildings,” said Rebecca Michelin, director of wildlife rehabilitation.
Every year the clinic sees numerous birds that are injured from flying into the glass windows of the city’s skyscrapers. Animals hit by cars are another common patient, along with wildlife injured by people’s pets.
During the spring and early summer months staff and volunteers are the busiest, as they get an influx of baby animals. The goal with each and every animal they receive is to not only, nurse it back to health, but to be able to release it back into wild.
“That’s the goal of wildlife rehabilitation, to always release back into the wild. These animals are meant to be wild and that’s what they were born for. They aren’t meant to be in captivity so if we are raising an animal and they are not releasable we didn’t do our job properly,” said Michelin.
Michelin calls her work a labor of love, she is one of just two full time staff members at the non-profit clinic.
“We wouldn’t be able to function at all without volunteers. The number of animals we have it is impossible for one person to care for them. We need people who are helping us feed animals, clean cages, do laundry and dishes,” said Michelin.
Volunteers and donations are vital in saving Philadelphia’s wildlife, in fact just this year the clinic has seen more than 300 animals. With the donations from the community and the time donated by volunteers those animals wouldn’t have survived.
If you are interested in volunteering send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.