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Past Featured Wildlife Rehabilitator
Jeff Lederman, July 1998
Written by Jeff Lederman, Wildlife Natural Care Centre
If you had told me ten years ago what I would be doing today, I would have said you were crazy! I had spent the greater part of my life as an artist in Chicago, supporting myself through the sporadic sale of my work in galleries and private collections. One day, around the age of 36 years old, I woke up in New Mexico in the body of a wildlife rehabilitator. I found myself volunteering about 40 hours a week at a raptor center outside Santa Fe, and I was hooked.
That was about 7 or 8 years ago. Since then, I have have worked or volunteered at a myriad of rehabilitation facilities. I have been involved with centers admitting from 300 animals per season, to 3,000 animals. I have worked with raptor centers and marine mammal centers, and a lot of North American wildlife in between.
As a natural extension of my own personal health philosophy, I began to investigate and study alternative medicine for the animals in my care. I have found through these alternatives, homeopathy, herbal formulas, and physical therapies, a greater control over the health of the wildlife, higher survival rates, and more confidence that the animals I have released have the greatest chance for survival in a hostile, toxic, and not so natural environment.
In April of 1996, Canadian immigration granted me work authorization to create a marine mammal/wildlife rehabilitation center on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. The center will of course specialize in alternative treatments. One of the goals for the center is to one day rehabilitate without the use of pharmaceuticals. I have teamed up with a very creative fund raiser/grant writer, and we hope to be admitting animals by next Spring.
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