SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new partnership is working to save wildlife that has been injured in California’s wildfires.
The Wildlife Disaster Network is a partnership between veterinarians at UC Davis and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with many volunteers. The goal is to send in search and rescue teams to find and treat animals.
So far, they have had their work cut out for them, treating injured bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and more. Many of them are suffering from severe burns and are on long roads to recovery.
“With wildlife, you certainly have a few more challenges than you would taking care of your dog or cat. One of them is when they want to take off a bandage they’re pretty much going to take off the bandage. So you have to be creative,” Jamie Peyton, with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, said.
That creativity involves special bandages made of fish skin that are OK for the animals to chew.
On Monday, crews were able to release a recovered bear back into the wild, which is the goal for all of the animals they work with.
The Wildlife Disaster Network says one of the keys to their process is having the public report injured wildlife to them. They have established a hotline 1-800-WHC-OIL-9 (1-800-942-6459) for first responders, utility workers and the general public to call in for assistance with coordinating care for injured wildlife.