Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a former French Naval officer and researcher, once said, “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans” (Pamella Dell, Protecting the Planet: Environmental Activism). Due to the fact that most of the human population is turning the air and the water into “garbage cans,” wildlife rehabilitation is extremely important to keep many species, around the world, from becoming endangered or extinct. Theodore Roosevelt also said, “We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune”(Theodore Roosevelt and Conservation). Wildlife rehabilitation is the process of helping an injured or orphaned animal, recover and return to its natural habitat; in turn, this keeps nature beautiful. Theodore Roosevelt was a president that deeply believed in conservation. Although Roosevelt was an avid hunter, he often wrote about the disappointment that comes with the loss of a species and its habitat. He thought the loss of many species, such as elk, deer, bison, and many others, was an indicator of society’s perspective on natural resources. Roosevelt himself took some sources for granted. He lost some of his ranches due to overgrazing. After being elected to a presidency, Roosevelt made conservation one of his main concerns. His authority was used to protect the wildlife and public land from destruction. When the United States Forest Service (USFS) was created in 1905, it established over fifty federal bird reserves, several national game preserves, and around 150 national forests. This was done by enabling the 1906 American Antiquities Act. He was the first to create a federal bird reserve, the 51 reserves that he created were turned into today’s national wildlife refuges that are managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In honor of our conservationist president, Theodore Roosevelt, there are currently six national parks dedicated to him. The Earth itself has become a wonderful world but at the overuse of many important resources. Society is so dependent on the use of these resources that it will not know what to do when they are gone. The forests, gas, oil, and coal are all resources that are overused and will not come back once they are completely gone. (Theodore Roosevelt and Conservation)Wildlife rehabilitation was starting to spread across the United States. Most rehabilitation centers formed with a common goal. The biggest goal of a wildlife rehabilitation center is to provide the things necessary for a sick, injured, or orphaned wild animal to recover and be returned to their natural habitat. Organizations that rehabilitate wildlife have started to gather and spread information on the proper care of wildlife. Some nationwide organizations do this with the hopes of creating a standard in the treatment and care of wildlife. Many centers have dedicated their time to improving wildlife rehabilitation and promoting the importance of it and how it preserves natural ecosystems. The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) is one of the many centers that have done this. (Thrune, Welcome to the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association).One thing that is necessary for the survival of wildlife is their fear of humans. Human contact is kept to a minimum, in most cases, to prevent the taming of the rehabilitation patient. Due to their training, wildlife rehabilitators can help concerned people decide whether an animal truly needs help. Young animals should be returned to their families if they are not injured or too sick. “Rehabilitators can provide instructions on how to reunite wildlife families, keeping the safety of the animals and the rescuers in mind…”(Wildlife Rehabilitation).In this day and age, a wildlife rehabilitator needs to work by the side of a veterinarian to assess injuries and diagnose a variety of illnesses. Unless they are with a certified vet, rehabilitators cannot prescribe medicines or treat an animal surgically. Some injuries can be extremely intensive and a rehabilitator needs to be trained to handle the sight and treatment of these types of injuries. For example, a rehabilitator needs to be able to control his or her emotions if they were to find a wild animal being caged or treated improperly by an illegal wildlife trade or poacher. There are important differences between domestic animals and wild animals. These differences cause rehabilitators to need great knowledge about the wild species they have in their care. The knowledge should include nutritional requirements, correct behaviors, and proper ways to cage the animal. The rehabilitators also need to know how to conduct basic first aid and proper physical therapy. The most important thing rehabilitators have to know is that every animal could possibly present dangers to them. (What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?)The legal systems can limit wildlife rehabilitation centers greatly. “Wildlife rehabilitation provides an opportunity for public education about the dangers wild animals face in an increasingly human-dominated landscape” (Wildlife Rehabilitation). To be a wildlife rehabilitator or rehabilitation center, a license or permit is required. Most birds are under protection by the federal law; most other wild animals are protected by state and regional laws. Wildlife rehabilitation centers and rehabilitators must have special permits from their state to treat reptiles, mammals, and amphibians. Special training, facility inspections, written and oral exams, and mentorship programs are required to be completed before the special permits can be obtained. Permits from the US Fish & Wildlife Service are required for a rehabilitator to treat birds. In the state of Washington, wildlife rehabilitators are only allowed six months (180 days) to keep a wild animal in rehabilitation. Only special circumstances, that will realistically end in the animal being released, are granted more time. Once these permits are obtained, practicing rehabilitators must continue their education. This can be achieved by attending seminars, workshops, and conferences. Continuously reading up on published literature and keeping in contact with others in the rehabilitation field are other good ways to continue to learn.(Wildlife rehabilitation)  Many things happen during the process of wildlife rehabilitation. For rehabilitation to be deemed successful, released animals must be able to survive on their own and be an integral part of their species’ population, such as, recognize and obtain appropriate foods, select mates of their own species to reproduce, and respond appropriately to potential dangers (flight or fight). These dangers could be anything from cars, construction sites, to dogs, and people. Wild animals that are not able to return to their habitats, due to injury or illness, are typically euthanized. On some occasions, these animals are placed in educational facilities. In some states, a law is present that only allows a wild animal to be in rehabilitation for a certain amount of time unless they are under a circumstance that needs more time.(Wildlife Rehabilitation)To bring things into perspective, there is a sea turtle rehabilitation located in Surf City, North Carolina. This place is the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, they operate with many people. Some of those people include volunteers and interns. The daily schedule for a volunteer or intern always includes morning food and vitamin preparation. Feeding is followed by cleaning the tanks and making sure that the water systems are working properly. They also help with the providing of care to the individual sea turtles as needed and are sometimes involved in medical procedures and administration of medications and special feedings. The center is open five days a week, four hours a day. During this time interns can introduce the residence sea turtles, explain their injuries and how they were treated, along with the operation and background of the center. Some days will also include beach survey work early in the morning, locating and identifying sea turtle tracks, and the relocation of nests when necessary. Some nights will include searching for nesting females and nest sitting in anticipation of a nest emergence and post-hatch nest data collection (Beasley).Wildlife rehabilitation can be extremely intense, for the animal and the rehabilitator. When a rehabilitator cares for wild animals, they have times of great joy and happiness but also times of sadness and grief. When a wild animal’s injuries are too serious to recover, the rehabilitator has to ask themselves very hard questions. Will the animal have to suffer in pain or should it be forced into captivity, or should it be euthanized (quickly and painlessly killed)? A good amount of high-intensity cases are the treatment of dehydration and emaciation. This type of treatment requires very specific steps administered by a skilled rehabilitator. Emaciated (starving) animals will need warmth and fluids first and must not be given solid food right away. “The majority of animals that come into rehabilitation (up to 80 %) are injured or orphaned as a direct result of human activity – accidentally or purposefully.” (What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?)While in captivity, many wild animals are exposed to stress that can cause them physical and psychological harm. This stress can be caused by the animal’s nervousness around humans, who the animals see as predators. This nervousness is usually a good instinct that keeps wildlife out of danger, but when the animal is sick or injured it is not. The injury alone caused an extreme amount of stress and with the addition of panic, do to captivity for treatment, it can cause other health issues or cause the animal to hurt itself trying to escape.”The public is often not aware of the benefits of wildlife rehabilitation, including the public services that wildlife rehabilitators provide free of charge” (What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?). Many people often don’t realize that wildlife rehabilitation does not have a government agency that takes part or help the centers. Rehabilitators are often unpaid volunteers that provide services that are not provided by the police department or the fire department. Wildlife rehabilitation can benefit society in several ways. Humans, do to their inventions and many other things that they make, have a major, negative impact on wild animals. Wildlife rehabilitation allows people to relieve the suffering of some of the injured and sick wild animals, and releasing them back into the wild where they naturally belong. Wildlife rehabilitation provides an opportunity for the public to be educated about the dangers that wild animals face, in an increasingly human-dominated landscape. This critical part of wildlife rehabilitation helps wildlife on a much larger scale than wildlife rehabilitation could alone. Some organizations, like National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWSA), provide other services such as active projects and committees that could get more people learning and involved in ways to prevent injuries to wild animals. Organizations like these also provide chances for veterinary students to learn wildlife medicine, most likely in hopes that they will help wildlife rehabilitation centers in the future. Other organizations, PAWS, teach children to respect wildlife, through storytelling and artifacts that come from different habitats. (The Basics of Wildlife Rehabilitation)  (History of National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association) (Wildlife Rehabilitation)It also helps spread information about many things. The most important information that is provided is about prevention. Many places provide information on when wild animals might need care or when they should, just simply, be left alone. Teaching children is a great way to start a wave of prevention when you teach a child in a way that is fun to them, they are more likely to tell their friends and spread the stories that they were taught. If you were to only teach adults, then the spread of information would happen at a much slower pace than the pace of children. Adults are usually very conservative with their conversations, thus meaning that they are less likely to share the information they learn. In addition to the direct animal care that is provided, wildlife rehabilitators also spend considerable time educating the public and others about wildlife. They provide information to the public in one-on-one conversations when a wildlife rescuer delivers an orphaned or injured animal and they respond to phone calls with general natural history questions, such as opossum pouches, reasons ducks ‘attack’ each other in spring, or how long woodchucks hibernate. Rehabilitators explain about the natural food chain, the role of predators, habitat requirements, habitat changes, and much more.Education about the risks that wildlife potentially have for pets and humans, is another important thing that wildlife rehabilitation centers do. In order to enhance public health and safety wildlife rehabilitation centers remove diseased animals from private property, take wildlife out of the hands of untrained people with good intentions, but those intentions could place themselves, their pets and the wild animal at the risk of illness, injury, and death. Many of the wild animals delivered to rehabilitation centers have health problems created from human-induced changes to the habitat. These health conditions may be related to trauma, such as from attacks from cats allowed by owners to roam freely; or from areas littered with an improperly discarded fishing line or plastic can holders; or from new construction that can result in flying into a window, or electrocution. Humans have turned our world into a “garbage can”, by polluting the air and the water. This has caused many populations to decrease significantly. Wildlife rehabilitation is extremely important to keep many species, around the world, from becoming endangered or extinct. This paper explains thoroughly what Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a former French Naval officer and researcher, and Theodore Roosevelt, former president, were saying when trying to explain the importance of conservative.  

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