ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) – The Twin Cities may be an urban environment, but wildlife still surrounds the area.

Living in close quarters can sometimes cause injuries to animals, and that’s where the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center steps in – a non-profit that’s having one of its busiest years ever.

For more than 30 years, it’s been the healing sanctuary for sick and injured animals from all over Minnesota.

Veterinarian Renee Schott says the center takes in a variety of animals.

“We see over 180 different species,” Schott said.

But this year, Schott is noticing she’s helping more wildlife than ever before.

“Lots of traumatic injuries, so the turtles getting hit by cars, birds running into windows,” she said.

The center is on pace to have a record breaking year, having already treated more than 8,500 animals. Eighty percent of their injuries are caused by humans.

In one weekend, the center took in 450 animals, many with lasting scars from their injuries.

“You can say natural selection, but when it’s presented to you it can be emotional,” she said.

For executive director Phil Jenni, the uptick points to a trend of humanity.

“I don’t think it’s indicative that they’re more animals hurt,” Jenni said. “I think it just means that there’s more people out there helping.”

It’s something Jenni sees every day. His team of veterinarians, interns and team of more than 600 volunteers will work to nurse the animals to health.

“We do actually have an impact on some of our species,” Schott said.

The process can take weeks, and sometimes months.

“To see that animal released on the other side is just kind of humbling and awe inspiring,” Jenni said.

Click here for more information on the Wildlife Rehab Center.


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