Spring brings hundreds of wildlife to care for, and new goals at SWVA Wildlife Center

By Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – As the temperature continues to warm and spring begins, that means it's the start of the busiest season of the year for the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center. Each year the Roanoke based wildlife center works to rehabilitate thousands of injured and orphaned area from the Roanoke and New River Valley.

Not only is spring a demanding time staffing wise, but also financially. "Our patients don't have insurance, and can't pay," said Executive Director Sabrina Garvin. Wildlife that are brought to the center do not require a donation from the rescuer, but it's always helpful.

Migratory birds are particularly a frequent patient at the center. This year, the wildlife center is hoping to make room for its large birds who need to spread their wings.

Predatory birds like hawks, falcons and owls can often be very expensive to feed, and require more room to house.

Despite fundraising efforts over the past year, the center hasn't been able to raise the $80,000 dollars needed to build an aviary flight cage.

Garvin says it's necessary to treat and rehabilitate large birds.

"We desperately need it in order to do more species at our site. Right now we have to transfer them to another site two hours away," Garvin said, referring to the Virginia Wildlife Center in Waynesboro. "They are held for months because they are so full. Then they will send them back to us. It's stressful for the birds to travel so much."

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