By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – WildCare Oklahoma will host its largest fundraiser of the year, the popular Spring Baby Shower, on Saturday, April 27, from 2 – 5 p.m. The free event will take place at WildCare animal rehabilitation facility located 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.
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, which is scheduled for Sunday, November 3.
The Spring event gives the public an opportunity to meet the baby creatures before they are released back to their natural environment.
Visitors will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite animal in the Cutest Baby Contest.
“This is WildCare’s largest fundraiser for the orphaned wildlife,” said Rondi Large, co-founder and executive director of WildCare Foundation,
During the Baby Shower there will be about 300 animals on the 7-acre property for people to view on the tour, according to Large.
Guests will be able to tour the Golden Family Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center along with the outdoor grounds and enclosures. WildCare staff, interns, and volunteers will be available to education visitors about wildlife rehabilitation as they view native Oklahoma wildlife in various stages of recovery.
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.
“Over 6,600 patients representing over 140 different species were treated last year, thanks to thousands of willing rescuers and dedicated supporters,” Large said.
Save the Date! On Saturday, July 20, WildCare will host the “Keeping it Wild in Oklahoma” dinner and silent auction fundraiser to celebrate treating its 100,000 patient. The event will be held at Sooner Legends Inn & Suites in Norman.
“This is a big year for WildCare as we celebrate our 35th year helping Oklahoma wildlife, as well as treating our 100,000th patient,” said Kristy Wicker, Community Liason for WildCare Oklahoma.
“We’ve decided these milestones cannot go uncelebrated,” Wicker added. “You won’t want to miss this fun event as we’ll share stories from the past 35 years, play WildCare trivia, raffle off some great prizes, and host a silent auction full of wonderful items.
“We are seeking sponsorships and donations of goods and/or services for the silent auction and raffle. Please mark your calendars now, it won’t be the same without you,” Wicker said.
Check the WildCare Oklahoma website for updates regarding the “Keeping It Wild in Oklahoma” fundraiser.
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, 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, Timothy hay and pellets, whole dried corn, ferret chow, baby food chicken and gravy, Ensure, and quick oats.
Other supplies: medium and large nitrile gloves and dry erase markers.
Donations to the WildCare Foundation Baby Shower can be made online or by calling 405-872-9338. Checks can be mailed to WildCare Foundation, 7601 84th St. Noble, OK 73068. To volunteer or for more information, visit wildcareoklahoma.org.