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Willowbrook Wildlife Center welcomes donations during busy Spring season

Items needed to care for influx of wildlife babies

DuPage Forest Preserve District's Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn is seeking donations of supplies, food and gift cards to accommodate the influx of wildlife babies it cares for during the busy spring breeding season.

A complete list of needed items is on the Willowbrook webpage on the District's website. Donors can drop off items at the center or donate them through Willowbrook's Amazon Wish List. The Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County also has a number of ways to donate to Willowbrook, including adopting an animal and buying something on Willowbrook's wish list. Donations are tax deductible.

"The center treats more than 9,000 birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians every year," said Dr. Sarah Reich, head veterinarian and wildlife rehabilitation and research manager at Willowbrook. "We are the only publicly funded wildlife rehabilitation facility in DuPage County and one of the few in northeastern Illinois equipped to treat native and migratory birds."

Despite the pandemic in 2020, Willowbrook treated more than 3,000 orphaned spring babies. The average cost to raise an orphaned songbird or mammal to its release ranges from $150 to $300. At $350, insect-eating songbirds are some of the most expensive spring babies to raise.

The center accepts wildlife patients 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. but asks that people call 630-942-6200 first for curbside drop-offs.

In addition to providing care and medical treatment to injured and orphaned native wildlife, Willowbrook Wildlife Center also serves as a resource for DuPage residents who want to learn how to live more harmoniously with wildlife. Its outdoor exhibit trail features red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, owls, groundhogs, raccoons, opossums and other animals with permanent disabilities. The trail and surrounding forest preserve are open 10 a.m. – 3 pm. The visitor center remains closed.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 6.2 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District's e-newsletter, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.


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