Updated: Saturday, 29 Oct 2011, 11:12 PM MDT
Published : Saturday, 29 Oct 2011, 11:12 PM MDT
ESPANOLA, N.M. (KRQE) - It's been a wild year for The Wildlife Center in Espanola. The animal refuge is already caring for a record number of bears, and now they're rehabilitating animals they've never seen before.
As Fall weather sets in, the needs at the center are changing along with the creatures. "We've seen mountain lions, black bears, several eagles, raccoons, mule deer fawns and tons of raptors this year," said Alissa Mundt a rehabilitation specialist at The Wildlife Center.
Just in time for Halloween, the center is caring for a Western Pipistrelle bat who should be hunkering down for the winter, but was too weak to find a warm spot. They are also tending after a baby beaver. He was surrendered after someone tried to make him a household pet.
This season many of their animals have been cared for and then released into the wild. Employees say they plan to release the bat and a handful of other animals if the weather cooperates. "If it says like this, it will be easier for animals to make it to Spring," said Mundt. "But if we get lots of snow and there is no ground cover left, it's going to be tough. It's going to be really tough."
The Wildlife Center is funded almost soley though donations. This fall they are feeding a handful of baby fawns who devour about a truckload of foliage every day. Crews say instead of tossing those freshly raked leaves, donate them. They can be used to feed the deer and offset some of the center's costs. They also need all types of nuts and can always use dog food which will continue to feed more than 40 bears currently calling the center home.