Wildlife rehabilitators help animals

By Kathy Bode

Hello. My name is Kathy Bode, and I am a volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitator here in northern Illinois. My husband (“Bode”) and I have held permits from the IDNR (Illinois Department of Natural Resources) for almost 25 years. We are a five-county, 24-hour/seven-day telephone “hotline” for all questions and problems dealing with all kinds of local wildlife. Most of the area rehabbers work with the five smaller species of critters, which includes opossums, raccoons, rabbits, woodchucks and the whole squirrel family. Special permits are required for endangered species of wildlife, migratory birds and deer.

There are several ways you can help the wild neighbors with which you share your “space.” Although we do not recommend backup feeding critters, it would be great if you would tolerate wildlife in your yard, as long as they are not being aggressive or destructive. Also, we need new people to mentor, train and help obtain their own wildlife permits to help in the rescue and raising of orphaned wild animals that need help — or to assist current rehabbers in other ways. Finally, by law, we must release any rehabilitated animals on private property in Illinois. If you have land that is close to the Rockford area, with no hunting, no busy streets, is away from irate farmers and subdivisions, has a natural water source and trees, and you are willing to allow healthy animals to be released back into the “wild,” please contact us. Our phone number is available through Animal Services — and we are willing to help with all wildlife concerns. Thanks for caring.

Contact info: e-mail gordon.bode@comcast.net or mail to P.O. Box 53, Cherry Valley, IL 61016.

From the March 21-27, 2012, issue

2 thoughts on “Wildlife rehabilitators help animals

  • Sep 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Hi. My husband ran over a nest of baby bunnies this with a driving lawnmower. We feel so horrible! One died from injuries, another one was dazed for awhile but is starting to seem just fine. We took him inside and he’s sleeping in a cage with grass and mice bedding. He’s very comfortable right now but I think we should put him back outside and try to reconstruct the cage so that his Mom can come back tonight and feed him. There is a 3rd bunny. He, thank God, ran to our flower bed before getting mowed over so he should be absolutely fine. He was sitting in our flower bed for a long time earlier. Then, we left for a festival for a couple hrs. When we got home, he was nowhere to be found so I think Mom might have come & picked him up. Based on what I’ve been reading online,I think we should put the 1 back outside in a reconstructed nest, what do you think? Thanks so much and sorry so long:)

  • Sep 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Forgot to mention this: The one baby rabbit that we currently have inside is injured. That is why we took it inside, because we heard that if a wild baby rabbit is injured- that the Mom sometimes kills it. We’re not sure how injured he is. When he got ran over by the lawnmower, it might have injured his neck or shoulder(s) or something. It can move around a lot, just not his head or shoulders much.

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