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 firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to P.O. Box 53, Cherry Valley, IL 61016.
From the March 21-27, 2012, issue