Friday, June 4, 2010

Wild For Life Day + Interview

Tomorrow, June 5th, The Hop is hosting Wild For Life Day. 20% of the day's sales will be donated back to this local Asheville center for wildlife rehabilitation. Also, from 3-4pm there will be an in-store demonstration featuring some of the non-profit's rescued animals!

In an attempt to better inform The Hop's customers about the organization, I conducted an interview with one of Wild For Life's founders, Susie Wright.

TheHop: Hey, Susie, can you tell us a little about Wild For Life?

SusieWright: Wild for Life is a non-profit organization in Asheville specializing in wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education. Our main goal is to rehabilitate wild animals and release them back to their natural habitats. Our second goal is to educate the public about wildlife, the environment and conservation.

TH: Where is your rehabilitation center located?

SW: Wild for Life is out in the Bent Creek area. We are not open to the public and need to be contacted before an injured animal is brought to us.

TH: What is the best way to contact you if an injured animal is found?

SW: Calling the facility is the best way to contact us. Our number is 665-4341. There is not always someone at the facility so you will most likely get the answering machine. We respond as best we can. Wild for Life is totally volunteer operated.

TH: How should someone respond if they find an injured wild animal?

SW: First of all, the rescuer should make sure they stay safe. Don't run out in front of a car, don't try to capture an injured bird of prey without gloves or a blanket or towel to throw over them. If you are not safe you can't help the animal.

Next, make sure the animal really needs help. You might have to watch it from a distance to be certain. Often, this time of year, well meaning people kidnap young fledgling songbirds that have come out of the nest and are learning to fly. Don't help an animal unless it really needs your help.

Each situation is different when an animal needs help, so you really have to respond to the situation.

TH: Is there anything else you would like people to know about Wild For Life?

SW: Wild for Life is an awesome organization. We are very unique. Many times people forget about the struggles wildlife endures and yet they always appreciate its beauty and wildness. Supporting Wild for Life is a way people can make a difference in their own wild backyard.

TH: The Wild For Life Demonstration at The Hop is at 3pm, what animals to you plan to bring?

SW: Right now, we are planning on a Barn Owl, a Screech Owl and a Broadwing Hawk. All of these birds are non-releasable educational animals. They have been through rehabilitation and have injuries that prevent them from being able to survive in the wild. We have special permits that allow us to keep these animals and have them as our ambassadors.

TH: Thank you so much for your time, Susie. See you tomorrow!

SW: Thank you.

We are really looking forward to this opportunity to support such a great organization. And as always, bring a can if you can for MANNA Food Bank. Hope to see you there!

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