A temporary home for wildlife babies

Posted in: Society
By Allison Collins
Jul 3, 2013 - 8:40:14 AM

KITTEN CAREBobcats, coyotes and rabbits, oh my!
The Garland Smith Public Library received visits from the Breaden Wildlife Rehab of Lawton on June 11 and 18 as a part of the library’s “Dig Into Reading!” summer program.
Wallie Breaden, owner and operator, has been in business with his mother, Yolande Breaden, since 1973. Their mission is to rescue injured or abandoned animals and raise them only long enough to release them back in the wild.
“Something we don’t encourage is when the animals get too comfortable with people.” Wallie said. “That really hinders their ability to survive in the wild.”
During his time with the summer reading program at the library, Breaden showed the young attendees a baby bobcat, two baby coyote siblings, a baby sparrow and a few newborn cottontail rabbits.
Not only did the children have an opportunity to be up-close-and-personal with animals that they may never get a chance to see otherwise, Wallie also made a small presentation about the animals, with information that not even adults in attendance knew about.
Did you know a skunk’s color pigments are already set at birth, despite being born hairless? Or that a bobcat’s main food source is rabbits, but when they are in short supply, the bobcat will turn to eating bats?
After his presentation, Wallie asked if there were questions. One questioner inquired about the feeding schedule of the babies. Do they have to be fed every four hours, even through the night, like a human baby does?
His answer was quite comical.
“When I go to bed, they go to bed,” he said. “And when I get up and put on my coffeepot, I put on their bottles.”
Even though the children (and adults alike) were overwhelmed with the cute, fluffy bundles of fur that Wallie brought in, he was quick to remind everyone that “they have wild instincts, even at a young age, and that “they should never be treated as pets.”
Wallie does 45-minute animal presentations for schools, churches and other groups. There is no charge for the visit, but donations are accepted and go toward feeding the animals.
The Breaden Wildlife Rehab is a non-profit entity and operates entirely through contributions.
Anyone who would like to donate to the Breaden Wildlife Rehab can contact Wallie by phone at (580) 647-5671 or by mail at 1908 NW 66th Circle, Lawton, OK 73505.

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