Come one, come all: Wildlife baby shower to benefit NJ wildlife refuge
It's not a baby shower for humans, but rather one for animals.
Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford is holding its third annual "Wildlife Baby Shower" on Sunday, Feb. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. at The Medford United Methodist Church, 2 Harford Road.
Assistant director of wildlife rehabilitation and volunteer coordinator, Heather Evans said the point of the shower is to gain and get access to much-needed donations to prepare for taking in the more than 4,500 injured and orphaned baby animals that the refuge will get over the next four months.
The wish list of donations includes paper towels, tissues, Ziploc baggies, dish soap, laundry detergent, green and orange vegetable baby food, and rice baby cereal. A full list of donations can be found at www.cedarrun.org.
Evans said anyone who would like to come to the shower on Sunday, can bring a donation off the wish list for free admission. For those who don't wish to bring an item, they can make a $5 donation per person at the door. That will get you into the shower to enjoy games, crafts, light refreshments, and even visits from some of the resident wildlife.
For those who can't make the shower but want to donate, there are three ways to do it:
1. Donate directly on the website at www.cedarrun.org
2. Purchase an item on the Amazon wish list and have it sent to the refuge directly from there.
3. Donations can also be made in-person at the wildlife hospital, 6 Sawmill Road, Medford from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Over the next few months, Evans said the refuge plans to get everything from baby field mice to white-tailed deer fawns and everything in between as well, including rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, songbirds, and possums.
The animals arrive in all sorts of conditions. "We see the best of the best and the worst of the worst," Evans said. Many times these babies have been knocked out of a tree due to a windstorm or people doing tree trimming. Others have been hit by cars. But she said a lot of the animals that the refuge sees, are unfortunately the result of human interaction.
There are currently 17 adult wildlife animals at the refuge, many of which came to the refuge over the winter were hit by cars, or ran into windows. But Evans said they will heal up and head back out into the wild.
One special guest at the refuge is a snow goose. Evans said he is beautiful bright white, with black-tipped wings. The goose was hit by a car and had a wing fracture. He is healing up nicely and will be returned to the wild soon.
One of Evans' favorite animals at the refuge is a red-shouldered hawk. She, too, was hit by a car on the Garden State Parkway and came to the refuge with severe head trauma. But Evans said she has healed nicely and will be returned to the wild this weekend.
The number one goal at the refuge is to rehabilitate and release these animals back to the wild. Evans said there are several full-time staffers so they rely on the more than 200 volunteers to help feed the baby animals, clean them, and give them medication, under the supervision of the staff.
She said if anyone sees injured wildlife, don't approach it or handle it by yourself. Always call a local wildlife rehabilitator who can help with the situation.
Cedar Run will see more than 6,000 animal patients this year. They are a non-profit and rely solely on the kindness and generosity of the community and their donations.
The refuge is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for those 13 years old and up and $5 for children ages 4 to 12.
Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at email@example.com
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