Wildlife refuge deluged with Hurricane Sally rescues

People aren’t the only creatures uprooted by the wind and rains of Hurricane Sally.

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge got 45 new animals Thursday, which is nearly double the previous one-day record for intakes. By early afternoon Friday, they had already gotten 30 more with the day barely half over.

They’re low on food and supplies, as well as staff and volunteers to care for those animals, according to Carol “Stormy” Andersen, the executive director of the ECWR.

Their new intakes are storm-battered, hungry and, in many cases, orphans.

They’ve seen everything from baby flying squirrels and fawns to hawks, pelicans, songbirds, raccoons and possums, she said.

“A lot of them are just banged up,” Andersen said. “I’m looking at a pelican – we’ve had to wrap his food and we have a splint on him.”

Others are emaciated from days without food and water.

“With the babies they’re getting knocked out of their nests, mom’s nowhere to be found, of course,” she said. “We do recommend that everyone try to rehome those animals because mom can do a better job than we can.”

They have also struggled with watermain breaks and power outages.

Here are some of the items they desperately need:

Cleaning supplies

Personal protective equipment

Frozen chicken

Frozen beef

Eggs, fresh or boiled

Fresh vegetables, except white potatoes

Fresh fruit, except citrus

Sharp knives (or a volunteer who has the time to sharpen knives)

Canned cat and dog food

Garbage bags – 55-gallon

Kitchen size trash bags

The refuge’s animal care unit will remain open from 8 to 4, but no visitors will be allowed.

To make a donation, call 850-684-1485 and arrange to have a staff member meet you at the gate. The address is 3051 Clopton Circle in Navarre.

More than 75 animals have been dropped off at the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge since in the first day and a half after the storm. The refuge is running out of food and supplies to care for them.


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