Wild Instincts animal rescue in need of ‘Raptor Rescue’ and transport drivers

Since 1998 Wildlife Instincts in Rhinelander has cared for over 20,000 animals
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 7:50 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2023 at 8:44 PM CST
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RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAW) - Since 1988, Wild Instincts has treated almost 20,000 wild animals, but now they’re looking for a few good people who can help them continue to treat our wildlife.

The non-profit organization said they need as many ‘Raptor Rescue’ and transport drivers as they can get. So far, they have about 130 animal rescue and transport drivers, but the organization covers 45 counties in the state.

“We really need some trained people,” said Mark Naniot, the director of rehabilitation at Wild Instincts. Now that the pandemic is dying down, Wild Instincts is back on-site training for wildlife rescues. “We’re just kind of opening things back up again, and it’s been 2 years since we’ve gotten new drivers,” said Naniot.

Wild Instincts has been utilizing Amazon-Smile for the past four to five years and has raised about $23,000. However, with the online program ending, the organization will have to resort to other ways to raise funds.

“I mean we lost a lot of fundraising opportunities during covid and so this is one that kind of helped us out a little bit through that and now we have to find something else,” said Naniot.

It takes a team to rescue thousands of wild animals. “We have a very small staff here, and we deal with well over 1,000 animals per year and we just don’t have the ability to go out and do all of these rescues and transports,” said Naniot.

The job duties are exactly as titled, to rescue and transport wildlife to the facility.

“We have 2 modes, one is transportation and the other is rescue. They go out and do the capture of that particular animal, and then bring it into our facility,” said Naniot.

Qualifications are simple as all that is required is a vehicle and the ability to help out. Training is provided for handling wild animals.

“What we do is we’ll have people come in here. We kind of talk about different scenarios, safety protocols, transfer protocols for the animals like not smoking in the vehicle, keeping your radio off so you’re not making a bunch of noise,” said Naniot.

The most important qualification is having a love for animals and Naniot said that availability is also a tremendous asset. There is also some time left to donate as the Amazon-Smile program will not end until Feb. 20.

To donate to Wild Instincts or for more information, click here.