On Thursday, January 18, Key West Wildlife Center staff and board members welcomed guests who’d come to learn more about the organization’s “Raising the Roof … Building our Future” capital campaign, now underway to raise funds to replace its badly deteriorating clinic building and conduct significant refurbishing to its reconditioning aviary.
The dedicated team behind the KWWC have been rescuing and rehabilitating Key West and lower Keys wildlife for more than 25 years, to the tune of more than 1,500 annually. Pelicans entangled in fishing lines, turtles in the wrong place at the wrong time, hurricane-battered hawks, disoriented bats, and a long list of others have been retrieved and treated at the wildlife center located within the 7-acre Indigenous Park property off of White Street near Atlantic Blvd.
According to board president Jennifer Lopes, the current building, a modular unit, has far exceeded its useful life. “The roof leaks, the exterior is crumbling, the interior walls are weak and soft, and the mechanical systems consistently fail,” she said. “Our reconditioning aviary has great structural bones but is suffering from years of humid, salt air and storms which have resulted in the need for extensive repairs and maintenance.” Lopes says that the new clinic structure will be a hurricane-hardened modular clinic building and visitor welcome center with 25% more patient care space than currently exists. It will also be elevated to meet newly established FEMA flood level guidelines.
The KWWC is a A 501(C) (3) charitable tax-exempt organization that provides 24/7 rescue services, along with medical and rehabilitation care from experienced personnel, associated veterinarians, and dedicated volunteers. It is open to the public every day except Wednesday, with visiting hours from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The Center also works closely with other local and regional rescue groups to provide rehabilitation for non-avian species.
Those interested in supporting the capital campaign or volunteering at the KWWC can call 305-292-1008. For more information visit keywestwildlifecenter.org.
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