Carolina Waterfowl Rescue: Only of its Kind On East Coast
INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. - It's a veritable bird menagerie: ducks, geese, chickens, swans, pigeons, some of them healthy, others, not. All of them taken care of at Carolina Waterfowl Rescue by Jennifer Gordon. She even volunteered her services in the Gulf to help clean oil slicked birds, but was denied. "They don't want help, they don't want it. That's what it boils down to. I think they're trying really hard to contain how bad it is,” says Gordon.
Gordon is federally licensed, a requirement to handle wildlife, and primarily self taught. She laughs when she says, "It didn't dawn on me until my husband came home and went in the garage and goes 'You know there's 40 ducks in here?' And I was like, 'Oh gosh, thank God he didn't see the 20 babies I had in a pen somewhere,' cause I had, like 60!"
She recently expanded into an old barn and the more than 200 birds she's rehabbing have access to a field in the back, too. Last month, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue had more than 300 birds, the most they've ever had. There are plenty of birds, but what they lack are volunteers. "Pretty much for the most part every day, it's me,” says Gordon.
She does have interns, like Ashleigh Maxey. The 19-year-old Weddington High School grad wants to be a veterinarian. She spends six days a week at the center, feeding, cleaning and caring for the animals. Maxey says, "Once you are able to see them on the road to recovery and eventually be released, it's very rewarding."
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue does more than help birds; it feeds the needy, too. The 40+ eggs laid every day by the birds are donated to a local food pantry. In exchange, the birds get left over produce to snack on.
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is looking for one more qualified summer intern and they always need volunteers. If you'd like to help, go to CarolinaWaterFowlRescue.com