Without Idaho and Wyoming’s abundant wildlife, these states would lose their innate character, heritage, and a large portion of their economy. TWRC believes that a successful wildlife rehabilitation facility will reduce the burden on Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and Idaho Fish and Game Department (IFGD) staff who must respond to calls regarding injured animals. Wildlife rehabilitation offers an avenue for the public to connect with wildlife by contributing to saving an individual animal and by learning the importance of healthy wildlife populations. TWRC’s efforts will help increase the understanding of human-wildlife conflicts which often lead to the injury of animals.
Currently, neither department has the resources to rehabilitate injured wildlife that are brought to their attention. The closest facility that releases rehabilitated animals is Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary in McCall, Idaho, nearly 480 miles away The WGFD has a research facility in Sybille, Wyoming, but it does not release animals. Teton Raptor Center, located in Wilson, Wyoming is a nonprofit dedicated to helping birds of prey through education, conservation and rehabilitation. Teton Raptor Center’s federal and state rehabilitation permits are exclusively for raptors. Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, located in Jackson, Wyoming, moderates human impacts on wildlife through education and service projects. Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will be the only permitted wildlife rehabilitation center in Wyoming that focuses on rehabilitation and release of mammalian wildlife while focusing on education and outreach. By being legally permitted to rehabilitate and release birds and mammals, TWRC would fill a gap in the western United States for wildlife rehabilitation in an area where there is not only immense interaction between humans and wildlife, but in a region renowned for world class wildlife itself.
We believe that the rehabilitation of native wildlife will contribute to healthy wildlife populations, inspire and educate the public, and reduce the number of carcasses along roads by providing care for otherwise untreated animals injured by vehicle collision. Through real-time experiences, such as stories and presentations recounted by rehabilitators, the public can learn how an injured animal, such as a moose wounded in a wildlife-vehicle collision, recovers and is successfully released back to its habitat. These lessons can invoke powerful emotions and leave lasting impressions about the importance of avoiding collisions with wildlife. Additionally, rehabilitation of native species can demonstrate to the public a high level of care regarding the detrimental impacts that humans have on local wildlife populations.