AMES, Iowa (AP) — A clinic at Iowa State University is working to help injured wildlife animals and give others new purpose through education.
The Wildlife Care Clinic at the school’s Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center takes in injured animals and helps them get well enough for release. If an animal’s injuries are too severe, officials try to keep the animal for educational programs.
That was the case with Ernie the opossum, now a permanent resident at the clinic. He arrived in February with a missing eye, broken teeth and a frostbitten tail. He now travels the state with staff and recently wore a red Superman cape for Halloween.
Right now, there are six disabled animals that are used for educational purposes, including Harvey the great horned owl with only one eye and Sora the red-tailed hawk with a permanently dislocated right shoulder.
The clinic is one of a few in the Midwest with resources for surgery, blood work and X-rays. There are two professional staff members and several ISU students who help run the clinic.
“There is no other place like it in Iowa that sees and treats all wildlife, including mammals, waterfowl, songbirds, marsupials and raptors,” said Bianca Zaffarano, the clinic’s director.