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The original item was published from 5/22/2023 1:02:25 PM to 6/1/2023 6:03:57 PM.

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Zoo Spotlight

Posted on: May 22, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Cargill WildCare Center at Capacity

Rehab Intakes Closed

The Hutchinson Zoo's Wildlife Rehabilitation Program at Cargill WildCare Center has reached maximum capacity in enclosures and neonatal care space and will temporarily close to new wildlife patient admissions. The Zoo will alert the community when patient intake resumes.

The Center usually has the highest number of wildlife admitted in the summer due to the influx of migratory birds and young orphaned animals. Already this spring, facility staff have taken in over 350 patients. Typically, staff and volunteers care for 760 patients a year. Rehab technician Shanay Cantu-Chambers reports "We are currently five weeks ahead intake-wise from last year. So, we are overwhelmed with high numbers in a shorter timeframe." Chambers notes that staff are currently caring for 62 baby opossums as well as other neonates including bunnies, squirrels, migratory birds and injured reptiles.

As a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility, the hard-working staff and volunteers involved in this program are legally and ethically responsible for maintaining a humane standard of care, and they aren't able to do that if intakes continue beyond capacity.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation program is supported by the City of Hutchinson and community volunteers. To protect the Zoo's animal collection, the facility is separate from the rest of the Zoo's animals.
As our community becomes larger, human-wildlife contact and conflict increases and the demand for rehabilitation rises. Unfortunately, the limiting resources for the Wildlife Rehabilitation program are facility space and personnel. Once the program can release current patients, intakes will resume. Until then, staff recommend that finders refer to the other licensed wildlife rehabilitation facilities in the state for help:

The Hutchinson Zoo Wildlife Rehabilitation Program at the Cargill WildCare center could benefit from the help of volunteers and in donations. To learn more about how you can help continue this important work, visit

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