WCV’s Volunteer of the Month-Gary Northrop

Watch as Gary releases three rehabilitated brown pelicans back into the intercoastal.

Gary has been with the Wildlife Center for almost
2 years and has worked with most of the animals
that come into the Center.  It all started with a
baby rabbit he found.  A call to The Center
brought long-time volunteer Beverly to his and
the rabbit’s aid.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Thursday and Friday are the two days that Gary
spends on-site feeding, cleaning and assisting
the rehabbers as needed.  But his contributions
don’t stop there – he also spends time taking
rescue calls.  Like a number of our rescuers, he
carries nets and transport containers in his
vehicle, always ready for that call about an
animal in distress – whether it is another baby
bunny, a pelican, coyote, bobcat, or even a
6-foot snake!  This year so far, he has logged 274 rescues/transports.

When asked what advice he would give to others on
how to help, he said “be aware”.  The best rescue
is the one we don’t have to do.  Be aware of that
tortoise or turtle in or by the side of the road,
of the bird that may be frightened and fly across
the road, of the squirrel that is just too
fixated on his destination to notice a car
bearing down on him.  Be aware of the wildlife
and give them time and space to be able to
continue their lives and also to call for help in
any situation where there “may” be a need.

Gary also wanted to make the point that The
Center can always use volunteers and donations of both money and supplies.

The most difficult part of this volunteer “job”
for Gary is getting that rescue call and arriving
as quickly as possible only to find that the
animal is already past whatever help we could
give, or learning that, even though the patient
reached the Center, it was too badly injured to survive.

On the opposite side of the situation, the two
things that are favorites include a “good”
rescue, reaching the animal, collecting,
confining and transporting successfully and with
no further injury to the animal. The best, of
course, is the recovery, rehabilitation and
eventual release back into the wild.

Watch Gary experience the best part of the job
when he releases three rehabilitated pelicans.

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