The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays was founded by Virginia Fratti in the late 1990s to provide care and rehabilitation to injured wildlife. It is the only facility of its kind on Long Island. The center cares for and rehabilitates injured wildlife so that it can be released back into the wild. Some who cannot be fully rehabilitated have permanent homes there.
Jane Gill, Agent for Saunders & Company, and a member of the Center’s Board of Directors, makes key decisions and, as a trained raptor handler, is highly involved in coordinating and participating in local school and community educational events, and special events.
Jane says: “I started volunteering at the center many years ago in its early days, and met Nick Marzano, who trained me in handling raptors. We currently have eight raptors living in the center because they are not shootable. They were all rescued with irreparable injury, and they Now ambassadors for the center.”
As Jane explains, “The natural resources in the East End have been affected by the desire for more people to live here, so the construction of new homes has exploded and many natural habitats have been violated. By implementing programs in the community and schools, we are trying to help people understand how to live with life. Wildlife and learn more about their natural environment and how to take care of it.Examples include installing owl kennels instead of using poisons for pesky little creatures that may be around your property, or choosing to use more natural, organic ingredients to prevent ticks that can cause Lyme disease.A helpful practice Another is to leave lots of leaves falling from trees under bushes that provide shelter for worms, butterflies, grasshoppers and other insects in the natural cycle of life. This also creates an excellent natural mulch for plants.”
The center has a large group of volunteers who take lessons to learn how to rescue. The area covers ranges from Westhampton to Montauk and as far north as North Fork. “The rescue is now limited to daylight hours, and only when I’m not working,” Jane says.
“We receive multiple calls every day about injured wildlife,” notes Jane, “and the center welcomes all those who wish to volunteer for rescue. After receiving training, it takes no obligation other than to rescue when you are able to. It is very satisfying when someone calls What’s in the center, and a volunteer comes out, the animal is retrieved, the animal is rehabilitated at the center, and then it is finally released where it was found. I tell people all the time “Thank you!” because it really needs a village.”
The Wildlife Rescue Center is a non-profit organization entering its 22nd year, funded entirely from generous donations from the people in the community. They currently need new medical equipment and would like to build another room to help house some of the hundreds of animals that come every year. Founder and CEO Ginni Fratti will be retiring soon and the Center is looking to appoint a new CEO. To learn more about the center, or to volunteer or donate, visit their website www.wildliferescuecenter.org, or search for it on Facebook. For questions about infected wildlife, call the center at (631) 728-WILD (9453).