Wildlife Center Issues Desperate Call For Help - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/09/03

Wildlife Center Issues Desperate Call For Help

For 20 years, the volunteers at WRANPS have helped the community by picking up the injured animals they find and nurse them back to health at no cost. But, if WRANPS closes, thousands of injured wild animals and those who find them will be left out in the cold.

WRANPS has thousands of happy stories about curing sick animals and returning them to the wild, but some animals like Cheyenne the Hawk will never be able to leave WRANPS. Her wing was ripped off when someone illegally shot her during a fall hunting season.

Fall brings shooting victims, while Spring brings something else.

"Right now we're in the midst of baby season and we're getting hundreds of babies coming in right now. We are getting a whole lot of injured and orphaned babies coming in." Dianne Hunt said.

Baby opossums actually keep pests away from your family by eating millions of insects around your home, including roaches. So, keeping them alive and putting them back into nature is a great community service.

But Hunt said all this charity work could end if the community doesn't help.

"Our financial situation right now is pretty bleak. We've been twenty years serving the Gulf Coast and helping people with wildlife questions, and we really need their help at this time."

WRANPS gets no federal or state funding. The volunteers depend on the community's support to stay a float, and thousands of wild animals depend on them to stay alive.

Co-founder Dianne Hunt says she's lost many sleep many nights worrying about WRANPS and the animals they may soon have to turn away.

"I have been real scared, but I feel like the public is really starting to help us right now. I feel like we will make it through this, and I know that they'll help us again."

Click here to find out more about WRANPS and how you can help.

by Rebecca Powers

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