A glimps into the world of wildlife rehabilitation…the world through a rehabber's eyes.

Posts tagged “WREN project

Our urgent care case: Ulyses

The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch has received a very special guest that urgently needs your help. His name is Ulyses, and he is only ten weeks old. He has been separated from his mother and siblings, and the poor little guy has suffered some serious trauma in his short life.

Ulyses is a bobcat, and he already has a special place in the hearts of all of the staff members here at WCCR. You see, at this tender age, he has had a little altercation with a dog…that resulted in a compound fracture of his leg, and massive infection. This poor little wild one is terrified and alone, and he can’t even yet have a buddy to comfort him. For now, until his condition improves a bit, his stuffed animal is his closest companion.

The thought of this poor little guy terrified and hurting tugs at my heartstrings every time. Especially when all we can do is sit back, and support him on his journey 😦

Little Ulyses upon intake

Here at Crosstimbers, we do 90% of our medical treatment on site.

There are many reasons for this that I may go into in some future blog, but for right now, my main focus is to help this little one return to the wild. But in order to do that, I am going to have to solicit some help! To rehab a single (healthy) bobcat from kitten to release, costs more than $2,000 and over 12 months in feeding and maintenance alone. Any medical treatment or other operational care all comes at additional expense.

For Ulyses, the cost will probably be more than double that figure.

Our bestest heart bandages ❤

His tiny leg will be set in his heart emblazoned cast for at least the next six weeks, and he will need some heavy-duty antibiotics (as well as other medications) to battle the massive infection.

Supportive care will also include a special immune system supporting diet and eventually, physical therapy.

Little Ulyses had to be sedated for this procedure, so once his cast was secured, he was placed in isolation to recover from anaesthesia.

His ongoing care, rehabilitation, and physical therapy are going to be major hurdles for WCCR this year. The economy has put a squeeze on us all, and we are definitely feeling it. We are trying to raise $500 towards his ongoing care, and every cent helps.

If every person who read this blog donated just ten dollars, that total sum would mean a massive step towards going back to the wild for this amazing cat! Every bit helps! If you want to be a wildlife hero, click on that donate button on the right hand column! I know we can do this. Lets get Ulyses back to the wild, together!

WREN classes starting again!

Okay, I can admit it, our experimental expedited WREN class did not go over as we had planned! So, after some re-planning, we are again preparing to hold new full length WREN classes! Interested in becoming a permitted rehabber? Curious about wild animal care? Or do you just want some really good knowledge? Well, come join us for a brand new session of WREN classes hosted by The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch!

We have not offered classes for a while, and the demand has not slowed. Space is extremely limited, and we already have quite a few students on our roster, so if you are interested, please contact us immediately! Classes will be held from February 11 to March 31st, 10am-4pm. Tuition cost will be $350 per student.

You can contact us at kari@crosstimberswildlife.org OR getwild@crosstimberswildlife.org

Register for WREN here! http://crosstimberswildlife.org/wren_class_registration Remember, registration is on a first come, first served basis, and space is limited! Once this class has been filled, no further registrations will be accepted!

Just one of those days

Today is another one of those days that I am obsessing about saving WCCR, and have no idea how to do it. I have tried everything I know to do. I have put in multiple grant proposals, and all of them have been turned down so far. I am not a grant writer, and from what I understand, grant writing is not an easy task. I have even tried to contact celebreties…which is amazingly hard, and any services that allow you do to so, charge for it. If you have been reading, you know how I feel about WCCR. It is an amazing organization with all the potential in the world, and it fills a niche in an area where it is sorely needed.

WCCR is the highest volume wildlife rehabilitation center in the region, and the largest bobcat rehabilitation, rescue, and sanctuary in the nation. In two years, nearly ten thousand animals have come through the doors of WCCR. Over 90% of them have returned to the wild, including some amazing success stories like Darlean the three-legged bobcat (I linked her story in a previous post) successfully returned to the wild by WCCR.

The WREN project is one of the most in-depth, hands on, cutting edge programs available on wildlife rehabilitation in the nation, and it is built on a solid plan for expansion. We focus on not only rehabilitating the wildlife, but creating a self-sustaining training program built to teach proper handling and treatment of wildlife in a rehabilitation program, as well as teaching about preserving the environment that these animals depend on upon their release, and stress responsible stewardship through teaching which species of animals can be released into what habitats, and what volumes of animals each release site can handle.

We rely heavily upon private lands and mitigation banks for the release of our animals. Mitigation banks are an invaluable tool to the wildlife of WCCR. They are wetlands that have been, or are in the process of being restored to their natural, untouched state. They are usually large tracts of land, owned by a group of people who possess a formal agreement with regulators establishing liability, performance standards, management, and monitoring requirements, and the terms of bank credit approval (http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/facts/fact16.html) . They provide the perfect habitat for native wildlife.

The preservation, rehabilitation, conservation, and education efforts of WCCR so far, have not been enough. Without the purchase price of the WCCR grounds, we cannot continue to exist. Our deadline is up. Unless we can find people who can donate in large amounts, WCCR will close. Very soon.

The five long-term bobcats, including my beloved Lenny will have to find somewhere to go, and all of the animals in our rehabilitation program will have to be transferred. The WREN project will die, and the blue prints for our state of the art facility will become evidence of the death of a phenomenal facility.

I have been trying other methods to raise the money we need, including creating a facebook cause page http://www.causes.com/causes/577450-the-wildlife-center-at-crosstimbers-ranch/about. I don’t expect facebook to save WCCR, but if we can raise awareness of the plight of one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation and environmental conservation hubs in the state, and even raise a little money to buy some of the things we need for day-to-day expenses (right now, we are looking for $1200.00 to purchase baby formula on causes. We have raised $150.00 for this project), maybe it will give us some relief to look for the big funding we need to purchase our property and keep our doors open.

The thousands of animals that are lucky enough to come through our doors make a huge impact on reducing human effect on the natural world. Every animal that enters the WCCR program is there because of something that a human has done. Be it unknowingly kidnapping a fawn, hitting a mother opossum with a car, finding orphaned/injured animals that another was careless enough to ignore, or removing baby squirrels and raccoons from their dens for various reasons. Without human meddling, the majority of these animals would not be here. Unfortunately, even if WCCR no longer exists, that will not prevent the blunders of human kind. That will leave thousands of wild animals without a second chance, a second chance that without us humans, they most likely would not have needed.

In a way, WCCR, and other facilities like it, work to off set the human effect on the natural world that we have detached ourselves from. And probably the most unfortunate part of it all, is because of the regulations pertaining to wildlife rehabilitation and the practiced, private hand required to return an animal under human care back into a wild environment make it difficult to shed light on these amazing organizations. For this reason, many wildlife rehabilitators remain small-scale, and rehabilitate these animals out of their own pockets. WCCR is trying to change that. But, we must get over this hurdle first.

Crosstimbers in the media!

Okay, so we haven’t had any articles done on Crosstimbers recently, but I wanted to share some of the great stuff that we do. So, I present one of the many articles written by or about Crosstimbers to share more about what this incredible and unique organization does for the wild ones.


This link is a bio on a bobcat named CaRo that came into WCCR very very sick, and on the verge of death. Quick thinking, and networking with a phenominal group in Hutchins Texas called Rogers Wildlife (Who’s focus is protected birds), saved this little bobkitten’s life. CaRo became a media darling with many fans following his story. Due to his extreme condition when he came in, and immense amount of handling required to save his life, CaRo became deeply imprinted on hunans, who replaced the mother that he had lost, and non-releaseable. I told you, bobcats are capable of forming deep bonds. CaRo’s story is still one of the biggest sucesses in WCCR’s history. 

This was CaRo when he first came to us from Rogers Wildlife. Notice the glazed look in his eyes, the wide eyed, baffled facial expression, the hunched over posture, and the mucus build up around his mouth. This is the face of a very sick baby.

This is CaRo at WCCR after some extreme tlc. Bright eyed, mischevious, and alert. Sometimes, this job is seriously awesome.

CaRo now lives his life with another WCCR bobcat named Frankie at CuriOdyssey (formerly the Coyote Point Museum http://www.curiodyssey.org/ ). In captivity, bobcats can live upwards of 30 years! That is 30 years of amazing, enriched, and fulfilled living that CaRo would never have exerienced if his little life had been cut short without the help of a network of caring and wonderful people.

The WREN project

The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch is more than a working wildlife rehabilitation center. We are also home to the most comprehensive and inclusive wildlife rehabilitation education program in the nation, and possibly the world.

The name of this curriculum is the WREN project. WREN is an acronym for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Education Network. This class is far more in-depth than any other wildlife rehabilitation class available today. I am a graduate of the project, and I learned far more about the practice of wildlife rehabilitation in this class than I ever expected to.

WREN covers not only the immediate needs of injured, orphaned, sick, and displaced wildlife, but ongoing treatment, wound care, medications and what to use them for, dietary needs, caging, and behavioral observations for a multitude of native Texas species through hands-on in class projects; including learning administration of fluids to dehydrated animals, splinting limbs, and suturing/treatment of wounds.

This season, interest in participating in this program is so intense, that we are looking for a way to house three simultaneous classes. WREN teachers are graduates of this program. WREN is aimed at acting as a starting point for students of all experience levels, and providing a network of qualified resources for everyone in the field.

It provides in-depth basics and specialized treatment approaches for various species from mammals, to reptiles, to everything in between.

This turtle was hit by a car. His damaged shell was epoxied back in shape. A similar case came in during the time that I was in class. We learned how to do this, and what to do afterwards. The information is solid, and accurate, and perpetually useful to anyone in the animal field.

We also relied on case studies that exercised our abilities to judge a situation, and react accordingly. Often, in the business, it is hard to tell exactly what happened to an animal before it came into our care. The case study exercises taught us to look at the clues, and use them to determine what happened to the animal, and then what actions to take in the treatment program for that animal to give it the best chance at success in a wild environment upon it’s release.

This is an incredible class with lots of well-developed information. I believe that anyone interested in a related field would benifit from the information covered in this class. I know I did.