Located in Oak Mountain State Park, the Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is Alabama's oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center. More than 3,000 injured and orphaned wild creatures are cared for each year, including almost 2,000 birds representing more than 100 species. Thousands more are aided across Alabama through the Center's 24-hour Wildlife Hotline, which provides advice and assistance on all kinds of wildlife problems and emergencies. The Center's goals are to provide medical and rehabilitative care for Alabama's injured and orphaned wildlife in order to permit their return to the wild, and to educate the people of Alabama in order to heighten awareness and appreciation of Alabama's native wildlife. The Center is open to the public for self-guiding tours, and features the Treetop Nature Trail. A beautiful, elevated walkway in the woods, the trail offers close-up views of non-releasable hawks and owls in natural habitat enclosures built among and around the trees. The Alabama Wildlife Center receives no public funds, and is supported by the contributions of time, money, goods and services of our members and volunteers.
Working in a corporate environment, itís not uncommon to go home physically, mentally, even emotionally spent, frustrated by working with people whose only outward goal seems to be climbing the ladder. Kindness and caring acts are a rarity, but those acts are essential to the human spirit - or at least they are to my spirit - and that void has been filled by volunteering at the Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in my adopted home state. I had no clue when I started how much happiness it would bring to my life! Imagine working in a baby bird nursery with 30+ mouths gaping at you, happy to see this odd-looking mama bird looming overhead. Or having a fawn suckle your earlobe because it feels like ďthe real thingĒ, providing it with psychological comfort. Trust me - you havenít lived until youíve heard sloppy, wet fawn noises one inch from your ear drum! Raptors are another story - weíve seen their powerful flight from a distance, probably on television. Now imagine that youíve got to pick up a sick adult red tail hawk, keep it under control and stress free while medications are administered, and then hand feed it. You learn a very healthy respect for their wildness. Ultimately, the greatest reward is their release back into the wild - even if they don't look back. The AWR Center provides care for native injured and orphaned Alabama wildlife - and volunteering rejuvenates the human spirit. Yes, Iím tired when I leave work at 6pm and go to the Center. But by 10pm, Iím totally energized and refocused on what is really important in this world - making my small piece of it just a little bit better. Please volunteer in something that interests you - just get out and do it! By the way - baby beavers sound just like human ones, and demand just as much attention! -- Pam