A Different Kind of Event in The Hamptons - Saving natures' precious animals

On a beautiful August 8th, I had the pleasure to attend a very special event:  The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center Annual Summer Benefit.


What made this event so different than all other ‘save the animal’ events, was that  this particular organization works tirelessly to save animals of the wild and put them back into their natural habitat.


This particular event was held at Marders Farms in Bridgehampton, NY. a perfect location for these animals to be  admired.  Although not a forest by any means, this beautiful and expansive location boasts gorgeous trees and greenery that is fit for mansions.


Executive Director Virginia (Ginnie) Frati, works tirelessly and with great passion.  She and her staff hold many events, which are very well attended I might add, that draw crowds from all over the tristate area who share the same passion for all of these animals. 


Bird of Prey

I was a bit uneducated in this area of birds, turtles, fish, and so many other lovely creatures that inhabit our world every day.  Surely, we know about ‘saving the dogs and cats’ and how important rescue is for these animals.  But, I knew little about these other wonderful creatures that we might just glance at for a moment, rarely thinking that it might be injured or sick.


The committee consists of the famous and recognizable and neighbors from across the way all attend for the common cause.  You might be having a glass of wine talking to a celebrity but you are just as likely to have that same glass of wine with local artists, designers and passionate people who truly care about the cause at this organization.



The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the rehabilitation of wild animals impacted by encroachment of humans on their habitat. It is a grass roots organization that grew from a few concerned friends to a group of over 1000 members and supporters. The center is a full-time professional wildlife hospital staffed by licensed rehabilitators, biologists, animal behaviorists and volunteers. Over 100 people have been trained to assist in wildlife rescues. The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center is located on Munn’s Pond Park through a cooperative licensing agreement with Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation. The center is situated on a greenbelt of public land parcels totaling several thousand acres and stretches from Tiana Bay to Peconic Bay located on the eastern end of Long Island, NY. This is a unique and irreplaceable ecosystem consisting of salt and fresh water wetlands, Pine Barrens, deciduous forest and meadowland. It is the perfect setting for a wildlife rehabilitation center.


The hospital is designed exclusively for wild animals. Unlike a veterinary hospital, there are no ambient noises or smells to stress the wildlife that is recovering within. The Wildlife Rescue Center receives over 10,000 calls each year for information or assistance with wild animal encounters. We also provide educational programs to local elementary and secondary schools. Students from local colleges participate in cooperative education programs and internships. The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center annual operating budget exceeds $350,000, almost all of which comes from the generosity of public support.  Each year, special events, like the one on August 9, are held as fundraisers.


Here are the back stories about a few of the education animals we have at our center. Although our goal is to rescue, treat and rehabilitate wildlife for release, these particular animals are non-releasable for various reasons. They have been trained to serve as animal ambassadors, educating the public about the impact of humans on wildlife.



Kailala” the female Great Horned Owl:


Kailala came to the center in late February of 2007 when she was just two days old, her eyes closed and without feathers. A person called us to report a small bird at the bottom of a tree in Jamesport. She had fallen 50 feet from the nest. The x-rays showed fractures to both wings with completely displaced bones and a fractured pelvis. Although, two Avian specialists told us to euthanize the bird, during the two weeks she was with us for evaluation, we saw that she was eating, lively and thriving. The decision was made to give her a chance and keep caring for her. Now, the bird is fully flighted and 100% healthy, but she is imprinted. She thinks she is human and doesn't know how to hunt or survive on her own. She is affectionately known as “Meep” after the sound baby owls use to call their parents, a sound she still makes today. Because she cannot be released, she was trained to the glove and now serves as an educational animal.



Baby Fox

“Martino” the male Eastern Screech Owl:


In 2008, the driver of a Martin's Bread Company truck arrived at the East End Emergency Vet in Riverhead with an injured owl in his coat. The owl had been hit by the truck and had a badly fractured right wing that had to be amputated. He came to the center for recuperation and rehabilitation and, because he could never be released, he was trained to the glove. Martino, named after the company truck that injured him, has since lost sight in his right eye, but continues to go out to the public for our education programs.




“Sonja” the female Red Tailed Hawk:


In September of 2009, a juvenile red tailed hawk with a drooping wing was rescued from the side of the road. The x-rays revealed a fractured wing. Although she healed well, she never regained full flight capabilities. As she matured, we were privileged to watch the red tail feathers develop. Sonja was trained to the glove and joined the other members of the education animal team.


Nursing a sick bird



“Edgar Allan Crow” the male American Crow:


In the summer of 2013, a man brought “Eddie” to the center, saying that it had been kept as a pet and abandoned by his former tenants. The bird had been housed in a non-padded, wire cage that was far too small for him. His feathers were permanently damaged by the cage. Additionally, “Eddie” was clearly imprinted and could not be released. Despite later losing sight in his right eye and his poor feather condition, “Eddie” has become a crowd favorite at public events.


Feeding Baby Great Horned Owl


“Rosebud” the female Virginia Opossum:


Rosebud came to the center in the summer of 2013 after her mother had been hit by a car. A trained rescuer removed the babies from the mother's pouch and they were raised for release. All of her siblings were returned to the wild, but Rosebud suffered neurological and spinal damage.  She requires frequent medical care, but she still makes public appearances as an educational animal.


Although we have several animals that must remain at the center, much of the wildlife that comes to us for hospital care and rehabilitation is released back into the wild. We have a wonderful team of Rescue/Transport volunteers all over the East End that respond to wildlife emergencies, 24 hours, 7 days a week.


Some of our most recent rescues include one of our volunteers ascending 85 feet in a bucket truck to free a baby osprey. The osprey had fishing line around its leg and was tethered to the nest. Our volunteer was able to cut the line and remove it. The bird had no visible injuries and remained with the parents in the nest. Our second osprey rescue came only a week later when another volunteer went up in a bucket truck to free the wing of and osprey that had been impaled on a lightning rod. Happily, once freed, the bird flew off.


We are trained and equipped to handle all types of wildlife from deer and raptor rescues to orphaned or injured baby animals. We treat and have rehabilitated a variety of local wildlife; some injured by natural events and some the victims of humans.


By referring to the wildliferescuecenter website you will be privy to the upcoming events.  If they interest you, consider attending and/or donating to this wonderful cause.


Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center

228 W Montauk Hwy

Hampton Bays, NY 11946



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