As a nature photographer, I feel that people need to be responsible about taking care of our wild places. Picking up trash left behind or not trampling flowers to get to a better location for our pictures are a couple ways to show responsibility.
Another way is to visit a wildlife rehabilitation center. Several weeks ago I was invited to join other photographers at one facility called Back to the Wild, which is located near Sandusky Ohio.
Back to the Wild does not receive any government money and relies upon groups visiting or asking them to take animals to speaking engagements. They have each person visiting give a donation that goes to help with operating expenses.
They have several wild birds that were too injured to place back out in the wild, so these animals are used for demonstrations or put on perches for photographers to take pictures. We were able to get close-up pictures of several owls, a red hawk, a couple bald eagles, and an American kestrel.
The workers placed the birds on a natural perch of wood, but each animal had a strap attached to them and the perch so they could not get very far away. Many of these birds had permanently damaged wings, eyes, or other physical problems that would not allow them to survive in the wild.
These rehabilitation facilities take injured wild animals and care for them until they can be released back to their natural habitat. We were told that most animals are injured by cars.
There are many places like Back to the Wild, and here is a website that may help you find a place near you, Animal Help Now. So have you ever visited a wildlife rehabilitation center before and what was your experience? You can leave your comment below in the Comment section.