Oaken Acres Wildlife Center passed another milestone this year – admitting more than 800 orphaned or injured wild animals in one year. To think that in 1984, the first year Oaken Acres operated in Sycamore and cared for a few dozen animals, I worried that no one would find out about our work, and I’d never get very many wild patients to care for. How things change.
Another huge change in wildlife rehabilitation is how much more information has been published to help rehabbers be more successful than ever. Between nutritional considerations, vaccination protocols for some mammals, significantly improved surgical procedures to repair broken wings and legs, and national conferences our staff attends each year where wildlife medicine and resources converge in one incredible educational experience. These all lead us to being better rehabbers and attaining better release rates. We need to include Prairie View Animal Hospital vets and staff in this list of reasons of why we are better than ever.
There’s a website where rehabbers can find permanent homes for animals that have been left unreleasable because of an injury or illness. In the past year alone, Oaken Acres placed a blind fox in Massachusetts, a partially blind American kestrel in northern Wisconsin, four fur farm foxes in Arizona and Nevada, a flightless barred owl in Oklahoma, and a great-horned owl in New Mexico.
Our motto is “Every life matters!” and we live by that every day of the year. All of us at Oaken Acres wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you will never turn your back on an animal that is in need of help.
Oaken Acres Wildlife Center founder