A licensed wild animal rehabilitator in Tulsa keeps busy

Thursday, February 10th 2005, 11:03 am
By: News On 6

Wild animal rehabilitators care for and nurse back to health. Orphaned, sick or injured animals they call our urban wildlife.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells spent some time at a facility where he met, among other things, three bobcats and a raccoon named Daisy. Valari Bodkin is a licensed animal rehabilitator. She operates Wildlife Emergency Care and Rescue.

That includes bobcats. "They are not pets, they are not hand able, we don't mess with them." The tags around their necks would identify them in case they got out. They were orphaned, and she's had them since they were a couple of weeks old. They'll be released back into the wild sometime this summer.

And it's snack time. "You can come in with me if you want, they may try to jump on you." The bobcats get three mice a day and about half a can of special food for big cats. One of the three is named Hoover, and like most cats, he likes to play with his food.

Inside the house there is a big iguana names Izzy, chinchillas, snakes and other animals she uses for education outreach. But the real job is rehab. Take Daisy for example. She was found out near Sperry, sick, dehydrated and unable to see. But she's getting better. "She's doing very very well. When she first came in she couldn't walk for the first few days she couldn't stand up. She's now just beginning to walk around."

She's hoping Daisy will re-gain her sight, but for now, she just reaches around with her front paws, to get an idea of who or what is nearby. "She wants to know there's something that's not going to hurt her."

If you'd like to learn more Saturday is Wildlife Awareness Day at Southern Agriculture at 71st and Sheridan, from 9 AM until 4 PM.