Caring for nature's injured and orphaned animals has become more difficult for the Wildlife Rehabilitation And Nature Preservation Society since Hurricane Katrina.
For years, WRANPS has been raising money to build a new state of the art facility in Lyman. Before the group could come up the $1.2 million, Katrina destroyed the clinic in Pass Christian. Now WRANPS is without a home and needs South Mississippi's help more than ever.
"We had water entirely over the roof of this building," explained WRANPS president Diane Hunt.
WRANPS is where so many of Mother Nature's creatures have been nursed back to health. It's also where Mother Nature unleashed her destruction.
The aviaries weren't all that didn't escape Katrina's wrath. WRANPS lost records, equipment, and more. Still, Hunt says those losses weren't the most heartbreaking.
"Unfortunately we lost our educational red tailed hawk, Cheyenne, and our skunk Pepe that was a favorite with school children and we were extremely saddened by that."
WRANPS will not rebuild in Pass Christian. Instead the group is looking for fresh start in Lyman.
"We plan to have a large education facility up at the new center where people can come," said Hunt. "We'll have board walks, a large audio visual center for people to come in and children to come it."
Until WRANPS can come up with money for the Lyman facility, a veterinarian in Moselle is caring for the animals. Hunt says WRANPS needs a permanent solution for rehabilitating sick wildlife as soon as possible.
"There are wild animals that are still in need of care out there that the public is bringing to us and we're trying to help them as we recover so we do need the public's help right now. They've helped us for over 20 years on this Gulf Coast and we still need their help."
Although the total cost will be $1.2 million WRANPS needs to raise enough money to have at least the clinic open by this winter. If you would like to make a donation call (228) 452-WILD or send a check to payable to WRANPS to:
P.O. Box 209
Long Beach, MS 39560