Do you love animals, and want to help wildlife? Meet Victoria Campbell a rehabilitator from Wild Things Sanctuary featured in Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators. Victoria shares her dedication and the rewards of working with natures amazing creatures.
Name: Victoria Campbell
Name of organization/clinic: Wild Things Sanctuary
State: New York
Specialty/special areas of experience: Mammals, baby animals
Years as rehabilitator/volunteer: 6
Busiest time of year: April-September (especially May-July)
Number of hours you work per week during your busy season: up to 140!
Number of volunteers in clinic: Varies. At the moment, I have 3.
Why did you become a rehabilitator/volunteer: I became a wildlife rehabilitator because I feel a great empathy for the wild animals who do not have owners to look after them and who can get very badly sick and injured and orphaned: they need help too! Also, most patients are in trouble because of human related causes (e.g., cars, pets, construction), and I felt that it was part of my duty as a human to give back to these animals who need help.
Most rewarding aspect of rehabilitation: Having an animal learn to trust me and building an understanding between me and the patient. And it’s pretty fun nurturing the baby animals as well!
As a rehabilitator, what is the most common question you are asked? How did you get those scratches? What’s the biggest animal/worst bite you’ve ever had? When do you sleep? How do you know all this stuff?
Favorite animal story: Too many to think of! Pretty amazing releasing an animal and seeing it run off smiling…or when a pregnant mama gives birth at Wild Things!
What advice would you offer to children considering a career in wildlife rehabilitation: Learn as much about animals as you can and see whether there are any places where you can volunteer and learn more about wildlife rehabilitation. Wildlife rehabilitators need to know about animal behavior, veterinary care, animal husbandry, and even skills like cooking and carpentry: there is lots to learn! Also, make sure you have a support system of people who can help you: it is hard work! And reach out to others who are interested and/or who are wildlife rehabilitators as often you learn the most from other rehabilitators and their work. Finally, know that sometimes you need to love the animals enough to make difficult decisions; wildlife rehabilitation is great but it can be very sad too.
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