There's Something Fishy About WRANPS Relocation - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/12/04

There's Something Fishy About WRANPS Relocation

After four years of searching, WRANPS has found an ideal location for its animal care facilities.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Preservation Society is moving from Pass Christian to Lyman. The animal care group will soon be neighbors with the state's fish hatchery.

The WRANPS medical clinic in the woods of Pass Christian is filled with injured and orphaned animals. Spring brings an unusual mix of critters, from baby bunnies and possums, to a young Canadian goose, to a variety of baby birds.

"Mockingbirds eat big ole' mouthfuls," said one staffer, as she fed an injured bird.

"They want to eat all the time and have just five bites jammed down their throats," she explained.

Multiple cages make for cramped quarters in the tiny clinic. But the animal care givers have visions of a spacious expansion to the north of I-10.

"It's going to showcase the environment and showcase our native wildlife," said WRANPS President Dianne Hunt, as she pointed to a project map.

She's excited about relocating to 26 acres of river woodlands right next to the Lyman Fish Hatchery.

But WRANPS needs help with the project plans.

"We have a steel building that's been donated by the Sisters of Mercy. But we can't put it on the site until we have a slab done with the electrical and the plumbing. And we need a well very desparately," Hunt said.

The WRANPS director says the wooded site near the Big Biloxi river is ideal for an animal rehab center. It's secluded enough for the animals and the central location just off Highway 49 give people easy access.

"We are taking in more babies this year than ever. And a lot of that has to do with development pressures here on the Gulf Coast," Hunt explained.

The folks that help thousands of hurting animals each year, are counting on the public's help with the relocation.

"We know that they're going to come through, and we're going to have this done by December," said Hunt.

After some 20 years in the Pass, WRANPS plans to offer the same animal care in a more spacious, modern facility up the road in Lyman.

Opening the medical clinic at the Lyman site is the first priority for WRANPS. Future plans include building an educational facility, an amphitheater for bird shows and a nature trail along the Big Biloxi River.

If you'd like to help with the project, phone WRANPS at (228) 452-9453 or visit their web site www.wranps.org .

By Steve Phillips

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