JUPITER, Fla. — COVID-19 has more people taking in South Florida’s outdoors, which has led to more reports of injured wildlife.
In fact, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary near Jupiter has received approximately 700 new animals from the public in the last 30 days alone. The increase has impacted the sanctuary’s budget, which depends on public support.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: We're Open
“With the sanctuary being closed six days a week, we estimate about $2,000 a day in revenue is being lost from educational programs, our welcome center sales and our donation boxes,” said Amy Kight, executive director of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary.
On the day WPTV visited the sanctuary, Allie Comer drove from St. Lucie County with a red shouldered-hawk that fell out of a nest. Another person delivered an injured pelican to the sanctuary.
”Nature’s not a pretty thing sometimes, but you’d like to see this little guy survive,” said Comer, a Fort Pierce resident.
Rehabilitation, feed and cleaning supplies have high costs. The sanctuary is in need of $20,000 and has taken to social media with fundraisers like Pelican Poop Bingo and virtual tours to attract support. And spring or “baby season” means mounting costs.
”Bunnies, possums, raccoons, squirrels, all kinds of different birds,” said Kight. “We’re very fortunate that in these tough times every member of our staff continues to work because the animals need us. But there’s money that’s needed for medical supplies, feed, cleaning supplies. You name it, we need it to keep these little guys going.”
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary urges the public to contact them first before bringing anymore animals. You can also help hospital technicians assess the situation with video and photographs. Visit their website for information.
Click here for information on the latest fundraiser, Pelican Poop Bingo.