“There have been no new rehabbers approved in the last three years, and since 2017, our state game wardens were told they cannot bring injured, ill or orphaned wildlife to any rehabbers—they either have to just release them on the spot and let nature take its course, or dispatch them no matter what the issues are. All wildlife that has become a pet has to be euthanized, and if you are caught with any wildlife in your possession without the proper permits, the animals are euthanized without option. These imprinted animals no longer get the opportunity to go to a rehabber to attempt to wild them up and desensitize them from human interaction.
“We have had multiple discussions with our Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, and we were made promises that were ignored. Rehabbers have been harassed and accused of things that were not true, but never got to discuss the issues on their own behalf. It is only a one-way conversation.
“Our state believes in nature taking its course, or to euthanize all of the injured or orphaned native species found by the public. We believe in nature’s way as well, except when it is the humans that cause the problems and not Mother Nature.”
Though game wardens have been forbidden from bringing injured wildlife to rehabbers, Morse said their District 4 game warden is grateful for the services Big Bend provides.
“Our District 4 game warden has told us that we make them look good in the public eye by having a place to bring the wildlife that needs help and a place that the public can call to follow up on the status of the wildlife, or the animal brought in,” she said. “We want to be part of the wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation solution and not a part of the problem.”