Carolina Wildlife Center in need of donations to help animals - - Columbia, South Carolina

Carolina Wildlife Center in need of donations to help animals


What do you do when you're trying to save wildlife in need? For many, the Carolina Wildlife Center facility off Bush River Road has been the place to turn. But now the center itself is in need of first aid.

Year after year, the center takes in all sorts of injured or abandoned creatures.

Their staff nurses these animals back to health and, when possible, returns them to their natural environments. More than 1,800 birds, reptiles and mammals have found help at the center tucked away in the woods near the entrance to Saluda Shoals Park. Of the animals they bring in, 80 percent of them are the victims of human intervention.

But the 20 percent increase of animals taken in have pushed the center to its financial limits.

"We've got to know we've got funds secured going forward so that, when we take in an animal, we will be here and be able to do the work we have to do until we can get them back out and released," Carolina Wildlife Center Executive Director Jay Coles said.

The center is spending more than they're actually receiving in donations. In fact, the board of directors may have to decide this week whether some visitors might soon have to be turned away.

In addition, Coles said the Carolina Wildlife Center could even have to close if they can't come up with enough money to operate through the end of the year.

"It's our responsibility as good stewards of nature to take our time to help those animals that we actually injure," Coles said.

Should services have to be scaled back, Coles said the center will give top priority to treating injured animals followed by those proven to be orphaned or abandoned.

The center benefits from volunteer help, but it also has a staff of 16 workers. Monthly operating expenses run about $25,000 and Coles said that's enough to keep the doors open to all for the rest of the month.

Beyond that, things get uncertain.

If you want to donate, you can donate by visiting the Carolina Wildlife Center's website. You can also mail or drop off your donation at the center located at 5551 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29212.

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