By Denys Hemen, Hospital Manager and Alyssa Schlange, Volunteer Manager
California Wildlife Center is always growing and as our patient load increases, so does our enclosure usage. In this 20th year of operation, some of our older enclosures are beginning to deteriorate. Through experience and sharing knowledge with other rehabbers, we strive to improve enclosures wherever possible. That is where Eagle Scouts and Boy Scouts come in! So far this year, we have been fortunate to have had three scouts build new animal housing for us.
Evan Johnson from Troop 745 (Westlake Village) and Noah Fonck from Boy Scout Troop 117 (Brentwood) built new Opossum enclosures for CWC. These new two-story Opossum “townhouses” replaced some of our older enclosures that were starting to show their age. Each enclosure can be divided in half so we can accomodate more young orphaned Opossums that we typically see in the springtime. The center divider can slide open and comfortably house a large adult, if need be. CWC currently has over 60 Virginia Opossums in care so these enclosures are greatly needed!
Jason Leow, a member of the local Boy Scout Troop 224 (Malibu) has built much needed fledgling Mockingbird aviaries. Each year CWC houses more than 100 Northern Mockingbirds. You can hear them in the morning and afternoon, practicing their many calls that sometimes mimic car alarms and sirens. The three new smaller aviaries will allow many orphaned Mockingbirds outside housing that will give them the room to stretch their wings while continuing to be hand-fed by our staff every hour, shortening the time it takes for them to go to the larger aviary and then on to release.
The Boy Scouts are not the only scouts who have helped CWC this year. Girl Scout Skye Wildon of Girl Scout Troop 2626 (Calabasas) wanted to combine her love for art and animals when she set out to earn her Gold Award. For her project she made wood-cut enclosure signs for the Center to help volunteers navigate their way through the Center. She also hosted a CWC outreach event where she invited Daisy Girl Scouts from Calabasas to learn how they could help our native wildlife and what to do if they find an injured or orphaned animal.
CWC would like to thank these resourceful scouts and their teams for all the hard work they have put into these projects. They did a fantastic job! The staff ast CWC and our wild patients greatly appreciate it.