By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
NOBLE, OK – WildCare Oklahoma will host its largest fundraiser of the year, the popular Spring Baby Shower, on Saturday, April 28, from 2 – 5 p.m. The free event will take place at 7601 84th Street, four miles east of Noble, OK.
WildCare is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of wild animals. Its goal is to release healthy animals back into the wild.
“This is WildCare’s largest fundraiser for the orphaned wildlife,” said Rondi Large, co-founder and executive director of WildCare Foundation, “We will have about 300 animals on the 7-acre property for people to view on the tour.”
WildCare accepts animals every day, but the facility is only open to the public for two special events each year – the Baby Shower and the WildCare Open House, scheduled for November 4.
The WildCare Baby Shower gives the public an opportunity to meet the baby creatures before they are released back to their natural environment.
“At any given time, we may have 250-900 patients in care with our busiest time being baby season extending from March to November,” Large said.
Guests can tour the Golden Family Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center along with the outdoor WildCare facility. They can observe the WildCare staff, interns, and volunteers at work in the nurseries, learn about wildlife rehabilitation and view Oklahoma wildlife in various stages of recovery. Be sure to vote for your favorite animal in the Cutest Baby Contest.
The Rehabilitation and Education Center is a 5,200 square foot building which includes admissions, and education room, veterinary clinic, commissary, office space, dorm rooms, isolation suite, reptile room, and separate nurseries for birds of prey, predatory mammals, small mammals, raccoons, songbirds, and cottontails.
The outdoor area includes 13,400 square feet of mammal enclosures and 26,100 square feet of aviaries situated into WildCare’s natural Oklahoma habitat.
“Since childhood I’ve been attracted to wildlife, and I have a soft spot for injured or orphaned animals,” said Large. “I feel sorry that their habitat is decreasing. We humans have created a lot of unnatural obstacles for wild animals and the least we can do is pick up the pieces. This is my way of saying I’m sorry for being born human, but let me help those that are not.”
Along with donations which help fund WildCare’s mission, coffee mugs, T-shirts, handmade jewelry, and adoption kits for those wanting to sponsor an animal will be available for purchase.
The WildCare team includes the director, a small paid staff of wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians, seasonal animal care interns, and work study students from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, WildCare has many dedicated volunteers who give over 14,000 hours of hard work each year.
“Since opening in 1984, over 80,000 wild animals have passed through our doors,” Large said. “Over 7,000 patients representing over 140 different species are treated annually, thanks to thousands of willing rescuers and dedicated supporters.
“These are not just statistics. They are precious lives of magnificent wild creatures that desperately need your help to survive. Donations to support our mission are always appreciated,” Large added.
The Baby Shower will take place rain-or-shine. Visitors are asked to leave their own pets at home. New this year, the R “Lil” Diner food truck will be onsite
For visitors who would like to bring a gift to the WildCare Baby Shower, the following is a list of items to choose from:
Cleaning supplies: bleach, laundry detergent, dawn dish soap, 10 gal. trash bags, 33 gal. trash bags, floor cleaner, disinfecting wipes, and rescue disinfectant concentrate.
Baby supplies: baby Wipes and Q-tips
Nutrition items: wild bird seed, sunflower seed, chicken scratch, dry dog food, dry cat food, whole dried corn, ferret chow, baby food, chicken & gravy, Ensure, baby rice cereal, and quick oats.
Other supplies: medium and large latex gloves and dry erase markers.