YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state’s strict state laws prevent the public from taking in and treating injured wild animals without a permit, or from earning money for providing care.
That leaves the state Department of Fish and Wildlife with few options when officers fined injured eagles, deer or other wild animals.
Department wildlife program director Eric Gardner tells the Yakima Herald -Republic that the region needs more wildlife rehabilitators. Often, serious medical help for injured wild animals is at least 100 miles away.
In Yakima County, birds are the most common wild animals to need help with injuries.
Michele Caron is a wildlife rehabilitator for Blue Mountain Wildlife near Benton City. She says in Yakima County birds are the most common injured animals that need help. She and her staff treat minor injuries and raise abandoned baby birds, while injured mammals often go to Washington State University in Pullman.
Meanwhile, several other wildlife rehabilitation facilities across the state have shut down in recent years.