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“Why can’t you keep it?“

I get asked this question a lot. “Why can’t you just keep it?” In a perfect world there would be a place for all of the non-releasable injured wildlife to live... but unfortunately this isn’t realistic. Thousands of injured animals end up in the care of wildlife rehabilitators every day. And every Rehabilitator has to make decisions on what animal has a chance at survival and if not releasable, would they do well in an education program. It isn’t an easy decision to make, but sometimes the most humane thing that a Rehabilitator can do is to euthanize an animal and end it’s suffering. I personally get get hundreds of birds in each year that I think “ should I make this one an educational bird?” I have to follow state and federal regulations set up to protect them. I have to look at the medical condition that initially placed the animal in my care. I have to look at How that condition will impact that animal in the future. I have to look at the anima’s temperament in captivity. How it reacts to handling and captivity. I have to decide if it is a common animal that would make it hard to place. If I decide to keep it, I have to look at the cost associated with keeping that specific animal (housing, food, medication, ...) Unfortunately, the funding just isn’t there. (Federal Regulations in link below.)

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