TROY — Wildlife is all around us in Miami County, and it’s tempting for kindhearted residents to “help” injured or lost birds, rabbits and opossum. According to Brukner Nature Center’s Curator of Wildlife, Becky Crowe, it’s best to let the professionals take care of animals that may need human intervention. Troy Rotarians learned a great deal about helping and owning wildlife when members hosted Crowe, and a Virginia opossum, during the club’s weekly meeting on May 9.
Crowe has been the curator of wildlife for 13 years and is responsible for managing the wildlife rehabilitation and wildlife ambassador programs. Brukner Nature Center’s rehab facilities took in 1,400 animals of 76 different species in 2016, making it the biggest rehab unit in the Miami Valley. The primary focus of the wildlife rehabilitation program is to educate people regarding the natural history of Ohio’s wildlife, to offer help and advice when wildlife and people conflict, and to care for, rehabilitate and release native Ohio wildlife expected to survive in the natural environment. Crowe stressed the importance of the public contacting contact Brukner Nature Center, or other licensed facility, immediately when they encounter injured or orphaned wildlife
To emphasize her points, Crow brought one of the rehab facility residents, a Virginia opossum. While this mammal has poor eyesight and is a slow runner, the species has survived an estimated 70 million years. Opossum are nomadic marsupials that move around constantly. They have a valued role in the ecosystem as they consume ticks, which helps minimize Lyme Disease. Opossum are very nonthreatening, do not spray, and are fairly docile. They die most often from vehicle accidents or old age. For more information on Brukner Nature Center’s wildlife programs, visit www.bruknernaturecenter.com.
Troy Rotarians and the Troy Rotary Foundation support several community projects annually. During the 2015-16 Rotary year, over $23,000 in scholarships and community aid was distributed from the fund, including support for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, Rotary’s annual Shoe Project, academic and community service scholarships, and sponsorships to summer camps at Brukner Nature Center and WACO Air Museum. The Troy Rotary Club is a member-involved, goal-oriented service club focused on socio/economic issues that have an impact both locally and internationally. Follow their activities on Facebook at Troy Rotary Club.
To learn more about Rotary and membership, visit www.troyohiorotary.org.