Big year for Nature's Nursery - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Big year for Nature's Nursery

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Nature's Nursery takes in thousands of injured and orphaned wild animals every year and the organization is on track to have one of it's biggest years on record. In fact, things will really pick up in the next few weeks. On any given day, the center gets hundreds of calls and takes in dozens of animals. 

There's not a lot of peace and quiet at Nature's Nursery but that's a good thing as the staff helps rehabilitate all kinds of wild animals. Enrichment Coordinator Jackie Rivas says right now they're getting a lot of baby ducks and geese and plenty of other little ones, "Baby bunnies, baby fox squirrels, lots of baby woodchucks. We have not yet gotten in many baby raptors or owls, but I am sure they are on the way!"

Operations Director Laura Zitzelberger says it could be the biggest year yet for the center, "Normally we take in about 2,000 animals a year but last year we we took in about 2,800 animals and we have just admitted animals number 795. The next six weeks will be really crazy busy for us."

Zitzelberger says more than a dozen fox kits are among the newest arrivals, "We have two litters of fix kits, one litter with eight kits and the other with five and they'll require some much bigger cages as they grow up. We'll have to build some new cages for them. We just never know what to expect."

Feeding and caring for all the animals is obviously expensive and the increased number of animals coming in is at a time when the center is without a major food donation.  Zitzelberger says a laboratory has closed that used to give the center mice and rats, "We've made some other connections to get rodents for our raptors and carnivores and we had a supply stored up. The big thing is that the community has really been stepping up to help. People have been buying things off our wish list and making donations above and beyond their memberships." Rivas says all the donations of time and money help provide a happy ending for many of these animals, "Releasing them back to their homes is the best thing ever!" 

This weekend you can meet some of the animals from Nature's Nursery. The center is hosting an event at the Toledo Botanical Garden on Sunday called Wild about Wildlife. It's free and it runs from 1-4:30pm.

For more information, follow Nature's Nursery on Facebook.

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