(Think Wild staff | Photo courtesy of Think Wild Central Oregon)
Think Wild, a nonprofit wildlife hospital and conservation center in Bend, Oregon, is officially open for intake of injured and orphaned native wildlife. The newly renovated hospital, equipped with X-Ray, lab diagnostic and outdoor enclosure facilities, fills a regional need for a public wildlife rescue and rehabilitation resource in Central Oregon and beyond.
Community members that find an injured or orphaned wildlife, or have a wildlife-related question or concern, can call the Think Wild hotline at 541-241-8680. Qualified staff and volunteers will assist the caller with ensuring both human and animal safety, determine if treatment is necessary and accept wild patients by appointment. These services are at no cost, but donations are appreciated to support animal care expenses and operations.
The Think Wild Wildlife Hotline and Hospital is led by Pauline Baker, director of Wildlife Rehabilitation, and supported by volunteer veterinarians, veterinary technicians and a network of private rehabbers. Just last year, the hotline received over 1,000 calls — and Baker expects that number to increase as Central Oregon grows.
“Imagine finding a tiny owl in the middle of the road, just hit by a car and unable to fly away. That’s what we’re here for,” says Baker. “That exact situation happened last week, and fortunately we were able to treat the saw-whet owl’s injuries and release it back into the wild for a second chance at life.”
Think Wild is permitted through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and accepts native songbirds, corvid, waterfowl, birds of prey and most mammals for care. But an important piece of Think Wild’s mission, in addition to rescue and rehabilitation, is education and outreach.
“Every call we get on our hotline or animal drop-off is an opportunity to educate, whether on baby bird renesting or managing that rascally raccoon on your property,” said Sally Compton, Think Wild executive director. “The ultimate goal would be for very few animals to come through our doors. The more we can educate on wildlife conflict prevention and conservation strategies, the better we can coexist with our wild neighbors here in Central Oregon. They deserve to live here safely too.”
Think Wild provides onsite, offsite and virtual educational programming and workshops for local schools and organizations, as well as the general public. But one of the best ways to get involved is through volunteering.
“Think Wild has volunteer opportunities available for any person of any experience level. We strive for our organization to be inclusive and to get as many people as engaged and passionate about wildlife conservation as possible,” said Compton. “None of this would be possible without community support. Every volunteer hour, every hotline call and every dollar donated directly saves lives.”
If you ever have any questions, Think Wild’s wildlife hotline, 541-241-8680, is available seven days a week from 8am to 5pm. Think Wild is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and tax-deductible donations can be made at thinkwildco.org/donate or mailed to PO Box 5093 Bend, OR 97708.
Think Wild, a Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center, provides wildlife education, conservation, and rescue & rehabilitation in Central Oregon. Think Wild seeks to reduce the incidents of human-wildlife conflict through prevention education and community outreach. When conflicts do occur, Think Wild will provide veterinary treatment and care at its Wildlife Hospital.