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Heed the call of the wild at the Pocono Wildlife Center

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 02 2014 05:10:56 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 02 2014 06:15:11 PM CDT

The call from the wild is heard every day by the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. -

The call from the wild is heard every day by the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center.

"You can see everything is all formed here beautiful little wing." Kathy Uhler explained.

For most a face-to-face feeding with a five-week-old baby bat isn't an everyday occurrence.

"He likes to walk while he's eating," she says as the tiny mammal crawls over her hand.

A walk into what can only be described as a very sensitive situation, an enclosure filled with 43 skunks, is not an everyday occurrence either.

It's all part of the daily grind for Kathy Uhler.

Uhler, a biologist and high school teacher, does just about anything for injured, sick and displaced wild animals at the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Stroudsburg, Monroe County.

"It's a lifestyle. I really think it makes a difference for wildlife so we do it," she said.

Her menagerie of clients, brought in by the public, include displaced bear cubs, fawns, possums, sick raccoons, injured squirrels, rabbits, and dozens of different kinds of birds, including a three year old bald eagle.

The goal is to re-release them into the wild or use them as educational tool, like her porcupine Spike, at area schools.

“Having a living animal gives a sense of ownership. If you can't see animals, can't care about them and want to preserve them,” Uhler said.

The rescuing, rehabbing and educating isn't cheap.

Formula, medication and food costs thousands of dollars each month.

"Its' a varied thing, not something you can go pick up at Giant.," Uhler said, as she opened a fridge full of dead rats.

The Wildlife center receives no federal grants, state grants or local grants.

Their entire $100,000 budget is made up of donations and whatever sponsors they can get.

"Someone needs to do this. There's only about 35 in the state. If I wasn't here, there would be no place for people to turn," Uhler stressed.

You too call hear the call from the wild. An open house is set for Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.