What’s happening with Wolf Hollow…
Can you believe Wolf Hollow is 29 years old? Well, that one is plausible. But working there for 23 years?
When Education Coordinator Shona Aitken told me that tidbit, my eyes widened and I thought to myself, “She must really love her job.” After talking to her a for a little longer, it clear to me that I was right.
Shona isn’t the only one excited to have a position at Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The nonprofit attracts interns, volunteers, and workers from all across America and a few other countries. This year, they had 170 applications for interns, of which they took eight total, spread out over the summer so peak season had five positions.
What does peak season look like?
That would be about now – with 80 animals residing at the facility as of last week (this week numbers are lower, with 50 to 60 animals.) When asked what type of animals they have, Shona and volunteer Hannah listed every type off the top of their heads: mink, bald eagle, swallows, finches, songbirds, Great Horned Owl, red-tailed hawk, mallards, fawns, raccoon, and seals.
About 60% of the animals they typically see are birds. When I asked Shona how they deal with rambunctious and scared birds (specifically keeping their talons away from vulnerable human skin), she told me that most birds calm right down if a sheet or other object is placed over their heads, making them believe they are hidden. The heavy duty gloves are still required, though.
The funding problem…
This is the sad part. The cushion the nonprofit had in 2009 is gone, and they are struggling to keep all the necessary services running. In fact, they are not only responsible for San Juan County, but also Skagit County and the north end of Whidbey Island. That’s a lot of terriority and animals for the resources available. The best way to help is by donating, which can be done easily on their website.
Are there informative events about local wildlife happening anytime soon?
On Saturdays from 2-4pm in August (excluding the Fair) at the Lime Kiln Lighthouse, Fridays from 1-3pm at English Camp, and Wednesdays at 7pm at the County Park, Shona will be available with a visual display and can answer questions anyone may have about Wolf Hollow or the wildlife.