Uniquely Wisconsin: Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Curator

Published 07/10 2014 02:17PM

Updated 07/10 2014 07:23PM

Green Bay (WFRV) Established in 1936, the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is where tens of thousands of parents have taken their children to explore and discover nature.

It's a 700 acre urban wildlife refuge that rehabilitates injured, sick or young animals.

Lori Bankson has dedicated her life to helping care for these animals and get them back to nature.

"I'm always excited for the new day. To come in and be like what is coming at us today," said Lori Bankson/Curator, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

As the curator of the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Lori doesn't know what each day will hold for her.

"You walk in and it's 'I get to hold an eagle, I get to hold a baby squirrel, I get to feed this baby fawn, I get to help this baby bird that came in to fly off," Lori Said excitedly.

The sanctuary takes in thousands of injured, young or sick animals that would most likely die if not given the care they need.

"We want to make sure that we do the best for every animal that comes through our doors," said Lori.

This young bald eagle had surgery on his broken wing, "We can help them get back out into the wild where they belong," explained Lori.

But not every animal will get healthy enough to return to the wild. Which is why the sanctuary is home to about 170 animals, "We need to take care of them every day," said Lori.

They weren't sure Lucy would make it when the tiny white tailed deer came in. Lucy is still half the size she should be.

"She has a stunted growth most likely didn't get the vitamins and nutrients she needed right at birth," said Lori.

The work isn't glamorous. Overseeing the entire animal care program means there plenty of cages to clean and mouths to feed.

"Looking over their health, their diets. Making sure supplies are in, cage maintenance," said Lori.

But the job is very rewarding, "It's amazing that you can be a part of that animal's life and seeing that animal make out into the wild," said Lori.

On a typical day they can admit up to 50 animals or more, "They have all range of issues from being hit by a lawnmower, dogs and cats have found them. To just being on the ground not knowing where the nest is," Lori explained.

Like Lucy, who will most likely not grow large enough to survive on her own, "At her size and being so frail because they are such herd animals they would just run her over," said Lori.

The eagle will soon be well enough to spread his wings and soar the skies once again.

"The best part of my job is definitely the released getting those animals back into the wild," said Lori.

Knowing she was part of the team that helped make his release and thousands like him happen, "It really makes for a good life," said Lori.

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