Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Friday Harbor has been serving the wild animal rehabilitation needs of all of the San Juan Islands and seven northwest Washington counties for 25 years. Its major function is to care for animals hurt or impacted from human-related causes. “We’ve treated more than 12,000 animals and 220 native species since we were founded,” said Julie Knight, executive director of the Wolf Hollow Board.
Although the summer is their busiest season, Wolf Hollow has already treated and released a number of animals this spring. A Redneck Grebe was tangled in some fishing gear, treated and released on Orcas Island. A Bald Eagle with a head injury was treated and released last month and a Barred Owl was treated in April and released on May 15. “Ninety percent of the creatures we take in get released back into the wild,” said Knight. Shona Aitken, Wolf Hollow’s education coordinator says, “An important part of our job is to keep them wild!”
Wolf Hollow employs five paid staff, 10 summer interns and innumerable volunteers in their work. Volunteers help care for the large volume of animals received during the busy summer months, take turns covering different shifts and doing night feedings.
Public education is an important part of the work at Wolf Hollow. Their goal is to help people become more aware of the wildlife living around them, understand how human activities can cause problems for these animals, and consider what the public can do to help. Their hope is that people will then make efforts to reduce the impact that they have on wildlife and their habitats, and pass this information on to others.
Wolf Hollow cautions the public about attempting to rescue suspected injured or abandoned animals. “Call us first at 378-5000 and discuss the circumstances prior to intervening immediately on your own. We are open 365 days a year.” says Knight. “Fauns, seal pups and otter kits are often just waiting for their mothers to return, fledgling birds may just need help back into the nest and a nursing female means there are young back at the den or nest.”
The Wolf Hollow educational staff gives presentations to clubs and other organizations, works with local school groups, produces educational materials and designs interpretive displays for use at local events. “At the upcoming ‘Bite of Orcas’, we will have an educational booth and wild life photo display in addition to serving wine by the glass at the annual fundraiser for Wolf Hollow being held on the Village Green in Eastsound on May 24,” said Knight.
The ‘Bite of Orcas’ is the major fund raising drive on held on Orcas Island for Wolf Hollow each year. “Our big goal this year is to rebuild the eagle flight cage that was destroyed in a storm in early 2007. The new design will be resistant to ice storm damage,” says Knight. The flight cage will be one of only four such facilities in Western Washington. Other funds will go to toward specialized foods and medications.