After years of effort, two wildlife biologists are getting closer to opening a wildlife rehabilitation center in the town of Driggs, Idaho. Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Co-Founders Renee Seidler and Lindsey Jones said there's a need for such a facility because Idaho's only rehab center is on the other side of the state, and Wyoming doesn't have one at all. So far, they've sunk a well, constructed an access road on the property and built waterfowl and beaver rehabilitation ponds.
"We also have a really fantastic partner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build our ponds," said Seidler. "These are state of the art ponds. One's for rehabbing waterfowl, one's for rehabilitating aquatic mammals, and they're big beautiful ponds. Fish and Wildlife donated half the funds for the ponds-about $25,000-so that imperiled trumpeter swans could be rehabbed there."
But Jones says they still have to complete one last detail before they can start taking in wildlife injured in conflicts with humans.
"All we need is our building," Jones said with a laugh. "We need that hospital there. We will develop protocol for intake and release and start kind of ramping up our volunteer program a little bit more so we can have around the clock help."
Rehabilitated animals will be released back into the wild.
Jones says they've started a social media fundraising campaign to build the animal hospital, which she expects to cost about $200,000. They expect the facility to be accepting injured animals by next year.