Suisun Wildlife Center hosts annual Baby Animal Shower

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Every day, the Suisun Wildlife Center in Suisun City gives visitors of all ages the opportunity to get an up close look at its permanent residents, which include a coyote, hawks, owls, an eagle and even a raccoon.

But this weekend, visitors to the wildlife center, a true safe haven for the injured wildlife in Solano County, will get the unique chance to get close to another group of residents - the babies!

The Suisun Wildlife Center will host its 23rd annual Baby Animal Shower Saturday, June 6. Come celebrate and support the wildlife center as they care for this spring's baby animals. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center, located at 1171 Kellogg Street in Suisun City. Enjoy cake, refreshments and visits from the education animals. Guests will also be invited to visit the birds of prey aviaries, the Golden Eagle residence and the baby bird nursery.

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Baby shower gifts or monetary donations for the center are welcome and appreciated. You can contact the center at 707-429-HAWK (4295) for gift ideas. Here are a few suggestions: grapes, meat (most kinds), ground beef, apples, Purina kitten chow, paper towels, toilet paper (used for nests), receiving blankets, bottles or baby food. The center welcomes "gently used" items as well.

The wildlife center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and guests are always welcome to walk around the back area and view the permanent residents who call this special place home. Every year, the Suisun Valley Wildlife Center, located adjacent to the 84,000-acre Suisun Marsh, cares for over 1,000 birds and other wild animals. The center has an animal hospital set up in the back of the main building, where trained volunteers devote countless hours to rehabilitating them for release back into the wild. All the animals come to the center with some sort of injury, most often from being hit by a car or following a brutal encounter with another animal like a cat.

The goal at the Suisun Wildlife Center is to re-release as many animals as possible, said Kris Reiger, the wildlife care director.

[caption id="attachment_971" align="alignnone" width="854"]Suisun Wildlife Center Luna Luna, the barn owl[/caption]

“We want to give them a second chance at what they are meant to do,” she said. “We give them that second chance and then the rest is up to them.”

But if injuries or health issues prevent that from happening, the animal could then become a permanent resident at the facility, where they not only receive care from the trained volunteer handlers, but also educate families, youth groups, schools, service clubs and other visitors.

“It provides an opportunity for people to get an up-close look at these animals,” Reiger said. “The residents that are here we use for education and we have permits from Fish and Wildlife that allow us to do that. The great thing about California is just about every county in the state has a place like this. It’s nice because when we get an animal that is injured and can’t be re-released, there is this network out there that allows us to transfer them to other places.”

[caption id="attachment_1740" align="alignnone" width="960"] "Kaiu," the coyote [/caption]

Most of the wildlife center’s permanent residents have been there for a number of years. “Sool”, the golden eagle, holds the title as longest resident. He has lived at the Suisun Wildlife Center since January of 1996 after suffering a severe injury to his left wing, possibly from being hit by a car.

Other permanent residents include "Kaiu," the coyote, "Bandit," a blind raccoon, “Guinevere” the great horned owl, “Rita” and “Rusty,” the red-tailed hawks, "Luna," the barn owl, and the newest permanent resident, "Griffin," the great horned owl.

Some of these animals will be out of their enclosures with trained volunteers for the Baby Animal Shower on Saturday. Many of them, especially the birds, are used for educational lessons on a regular basis.

[caption id="attachment_1738" align="alignnone" width="658"]Griffin, the great horned owl Griffin, the great horned owl[/caption]