PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2021) –Peace River Wildlife Center (PRWC) Hospital is receiving and treating more patients this year over last year. The animal intakes in 2019 were nearing an all-time high of 3,000 patients. During the 2020 lockdown, the wildlife hospital remained open every day for injured animals, but patient numbers dropped to about 2,500. This may have been due to the decrease in human interaction with local wildlife. This year, PRWC is on pace to receive more than 3,000 patients. To accommodate the increase, the center is building new outdoor caging and fencing for the hospital. Work began following the Punta Gorda City Council’s approval of a three-year extension of the hospital on August 25.
When Southwest Florida residents find injured or orphaned native wildlife, they can take them to Peace River Wildlife Center Hospital at 223 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Punta Gorda. Here, they will be treated and rehabilitated with a goal of releasing back to their native habitat. Wildlife that cannot be released may find a permanent home at PRWC or another licensed facility. The Education Center at 3400 Ponce de Leon Pkwy. in Ponce de Leon Park, is about four miles from the hospital. Although the hospital is not open for public tours, the Education Center is open daily to the public where they can learn and view Florida wildlife.
“The new caging being built at Peace River Wildlife Center Hospital offers a quiet environment while minimizing human contact. It also allows the hospital to treat more animal patients,” said Callie Stahl, Executive Director of the Peace River Wildlife Center.
The expanded caging is constructed with aluminum and wood framing. It is multi-use to accommodate different species of small mammals and birds at separate times, depending on need. These species can include squirrels, opossums, songbirds, and shorebirds. Importantly, the caging can be deconstructed and moved once a permanent hospital location is found.
The PRWC Hospital extension is valid until 2025. The center is actively working to find a permanent hospital location that will offer isolation for the well-being of the patients without being too far off the beaten path.
For more information about Peace River Wildlife Center including what to do if you find wildlife in distress, upcoming events, how to volunteer, and how to donate, visit prwildlife.org, call (941) 637-3830 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Peace River Wildlife Center
Peace River Wildlife Center (PRWC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and education center tucked neatly into the mangroves overlooking Charlotte Harbor at Ponce de Leon Park in Punta Gorda Isles, Florida. The facility offers care to injured, orphaned, and abandoned native wildlife. PRWC does not receive any federal government support. The costs involved in maintaining these educational displays and to feed almost 100 permanent residents and more than 2,500 patient admissions annually is more than $90,000 per year. All the Peace River Wildlife Center’s expenses are met through donations, our recycling program, gift shop sales, and small grants. PRWC’s mission is carried out primarily by volunteers. PRWC is located at 3400 Ponce De Leon Pkwy, Punta Gorda, Fla. 33950. Injured, abandoned, or orphaned native wildlife is accepted at the center’s care facility 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily at 223 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Punta Gorda. Learn more at prwildlife.org. For the latest news, connect with PRWC on www.facebook.com/peaceriverwildlifecenter.
Caption: Framing of the new caging at the Peace River Wildlife Center Hospital at 223 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Punta Gorda.
Caption: A red-shouldered hawk recuperates in one of the new cages built at the Peace River Wildlife Center Hospital at 223 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Punta Gorda.
Image credit: David Hayes/Peace River Wildlife Center
Peace River Wildlife Center