We have a handful of animals unable to be released for various reasons. These animals often serve as surrogate parents to newborn orphans brought to us by the community. Read some of our residents’ stories and adopt one to help wildlife that can be released.
Bubba was admitted to the Center as a fledgling Great Horned Owl with a broken wing. His fracture healed very well and eventually Bubba was released back into the wild. Some time later, Bubba returned to the Center on his own. He was extremely emaciated and came back looking for food. When he was healthy again and put in the flight cage, the director of the Center discovered that although Bubba was able to fly and maneuver through the air flawlessly, his wings were no longer silent. Because of scarring, a critical serrated feather would never regrow on his wing. Silent flying is necessary for Great Horned Owls to hunt successfully – but Bubba sounds like a freight train! Bubba became a permanent resident and is the senior statesman of the Center’s education team.
Ruby was illegally taken from the wild when she was a baby bobcat and kept as a pet. When she became weak and sick, the people who had taken her called our Center. Shortly thereafter, the Center received a mother bobcat with two kittens of her own. The mother accepted Ruby and acted as a surrogate mother. The Center eventually released the mother and all three babies back into the wild. But Ruby, who had become so habituated to humans, kept approaching people near the land where she was released. The Center took Ruby back because she could not survive in the wild. Ruby is now a permanent resident and has become a wonderful surrogate mother.
Wilbur was only a tiny two week old bobcat kitten when he was found all alone at a construction site. He had serious head injuries caused by bulldozers. A young boy from the Yaqui Nation brought him to the Tucson Wildlife Center. His head injury caused seizures. We were able to control the seizures with proper, daily medication. He will need this medicine for the rest of his life. Wilbur is a very happy bobcat with an especially gentle soul and is one of our more popular sanctuary animals.
Matilda was trapped in a heavily populated area of the city and sought safety with the residents of a mobile home park. It quickly became evident to the residents that Matilda had been hand-raised by unknown people, as she jumped on the clubhouse couch and fell asleep watching TV!
Not only had Matilda been hit by a car resulting in an injured leg, she had also been shot and was pregnant with twins! The night of Matilda’s rescue she gave birth! Matilda raised her adorable babies at TWC next to Grandpa, a sanctuary javelina. Once the babies had grown, they were introduced to other javelina their age to form a new family herd in preparation for the day they will go into the wild and establish a new territory. Mom was too tame to release and has since moved in with Grandpa to live the good life in sanctuary at TWC.
Grandpa was found as an adult, seeking protection against a desert home. A gentleman called Tucson Wildlife Center, and we found him unconscious, dying from severe wounds and infection. After days of intensive care, he regained consciousness, and began to heal. He was older, and his injuries had left him with permanent disabilities, mostly in the leg joint. By this time, he was non-releasable. We named him Grandpa,and hoped he would help Foster orphans. We already had a female on site named Grandma, who was also non-releasable, and when they met, they fell in love. Being spayed and neutered, they cannot have babies of their own, but together they cuddle and nurture scared, orphaned and sick baby javelina. They have never met a baby they didn’t love!
Tucson Wildlife Center is currently raising more than two dozen bunnies, many of them orphaned or attacked by pets, and we invite you to be a part of their rehabilitation journey.
This Summer, YOU can sponsor the rescue, rehabilitation and release of a wild bunny, for as little as $30 – the cost to feed and rehab one baby bunny. We hope you consider being a part of a wild bunny’s journey to freedom.
Big or small, every animal has purpose. At Tucson Wildlife Center, we are proud to rescue, provide emergency medical care, and rehabilitate Southern Arizona’s sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife before their return to the wild.