Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care preparing for summer
The Union news service
Though many of the units at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care remain empty, there’s still a bustle about the place. LTWC recently held its annual volunteer training day, and a new batch of volunteers, along with founders Tom and Cheryl Milham, have been readying the facility for the busy summer season.
First up, the center expects baby birds and rodents in the early summer and late spring.
“We haven’t got that many baby birds in yet,” said Tom Milham. “The only two baby birds we have in are two magpies. It’s the first magpies we have had in, boy, 20 years.”
Though the center hasn’t hit the peak season, several pens are rippling with life. Two bear cubs that were brought to LTWC late last year were munching on watermelon, avocados, nuts and apples Wednesday. The cubs will be released later this summer.
Volunteer Juniper Anderson sprayed down the bears’ playpen with a powerful hose while they ate their morning snack.
“I wanted to volunteer because bears are my favorite animal,” Anderson said. “And this is one of the only places in California that rehabilitates them.”
At the two-day volunteer training session in mid-May, LTWC had more than 70 people turn out to learn the ins and outs of feeding baby rabbits, handling birds of prey and, of course, cleaning up the many cages.
“There are a lot more local people taking the class, which is unusual,” Tom Milham said. “Usually there are about a half to a third that are out of the area.”
Tom and Cheryl Milham continue to raise money and go through the permitting process to relocate the center to a larger home. Without an end in sight, the work to relocate has been stressful, Cheryl Milham said.
“It’s exciting to know there’s a possibility,” she said. “But a lot of it is playing the waiting game.”
Dylan Silver is a staff writer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of The Union.
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