World Wildlife Day

Today we’re celebrating World Wildlife Day—a day to recognize and increase people’s awareness of the splendor of the world’s wild animals. This important day could not fall at a more appropriate time as we prepare for the arrival of baby season and construction of our new Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Our proximity to the ocean, mountains and desert makes the San Diego region one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world—complete with more than 320 species of wild animals. With this rich diversity comes greater responsibility to preserve and care for all of them. Too often we see parent animals abandon their young when they become overly stressed from human interaction. We see it among the sea lions in La Jolla, coyote kits in Ramona and fledgling owls in Julian. All of these animals arrive on the doorstep of Project Wildlife.

Last year, more than 10,000 wild animals came through Project Wildlife’s Care Center, all in need of food, medicine and specialized care. The new Center that we begin construction on this month is scheduled to open early next year, with expanded capacity to care for our wild patients.

As of this week, we’re officially in baby season, which runs March through October; although it started early in February this year. During this seven-month period, Project Wildlife takes in thousands of orphaned or injured baby and adult animals but of course, we also admit thousands of kittens into our Kitten Nursery during this same period. So it’s non-stop nursery work around here.

This time of year, we get constant calls about what to do if people find an orphaned wild animal. The best thing any of us can do for wildlife is to leave them alone; at least initially. The goal is to prevent unnecessary separation of nursing babies from their moms. The best place for any baby, wild or domestic, is with its mother, so the same can be said for orphaned kittens, too.

To help orphaned animals during this peak baby season, we’ve developed a matrix of Orphaned Kitten Care and Wildlife Care Guidelines. Please share this important information with your family and friends. Together, we can ensure all of our animals, domestic and wild, are protected and the animals we love—all of them—have the best start in life. Thank you for being the protectors, the voices and the friends they, and we, need.

For all of the animals,

Dr. Gary Weitzman's Signiture
Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA
President and CEO
San Diego Humane Society