Shelter gives injured wildlife second chance - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Shelter gives injured wildlife second chance

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Posted: Sunday, January 25, 2004 6:05 am | Updated: 5:35 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

When a wild animal is hit by a car and injured, the Southwest Wildlife Rehabilitation and Educational Foundation comes to the rescue.

The nonprofit organization in north Scottsdale rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, specializing in black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes and javelinas.

Southwest Wildlife will hold "Wild About Wildlife VIII," its annual fund-raising dinner and auction, March 13 at Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

The event is a primary means of raising funds for the foundation, Southwest Wildlife director Linda Searles said. The event is attended by "very caring people that want to help," and gives animal lovers a way to volunteer their time and money to the organization, she said.

Southwest Wildlife has rescued and rehabilitated more than 2,500 animals since its founding in 1994. More than 70 percent of the animals have been successfully returned to the wild, said spokeswoman Stephania Williams. The nokill shelter currently has six Mexican gray wolves, 20 bobcats, seven mountain lions and six black bears as well as a number of coyotes, foxes, raccoons and other animals, Williams said.

The foundation has worked with The Phoenix Zoo as part of the federal Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program, said zoo spokeswoman Aimee Yamamori.

Southwest Wildlife works with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and is a "big help" in housing injured animals and educating the public about wildlife, said Joe Yarchin, a regional urban wildlife specialist for Game and Fish.

The foundation provided holding places for bears during the winter of 2000, Yarchin said. "We had just a real influx of bears one year, and they were able to hold those bears, get them back to health and then release them the following spring," he said.

The foundation houses 250 to 450 animals annually.

The animals must be sick, injured or orphaned for the foundation to care for them, according to laws governing the handling of wild animals, Williams said. The animals’ injuries determine their time at the shelter. Even after recovery, some animals are too severely hurt to be released.

Animal adventure

What: "Wild About Wildlife VIII" Southwest Wildlife Rehabilitation and Educational Foundation annual fund-raising dinner and auction

When: 6 p.m. Saturday March 13

Where: Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Phoenix

Tickets: $125 each

Information: (480) 951-3082

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