In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ida, wildlife rehabilitators in Louisiana are organizing a relief effort to assist one another with supplies and funds in the coming days and weeks.
Letitia Labbie, the founder of Acadiana Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation in Youngsville, just south of Lafayette in central Louisiana, says she has started receiving “severely damaged birds” including the two raptors shown above – a fledgling Mississippi Kite with an exposed fractured wingtip and a Red-tailed Hawk with a broken clavicle. An Osprey with a partially severed wing died on Monday while its rescuer was transporting the bird to Labbie. Her organization is also receiving lots of baby squirrels that were injured or orphaned due to so many falling trees during the storm.
And as the cleanup process begins, she expects to receive more calls for assistance with injured animals.
Labbie says she brought all the animals in her care inside her home when the storm hit. She says other rehabilitators that were in Ida’s direct path did the same and therefore could not evacuate due to the number of animals in their care. And given the widespread power outages and other infrastructure problems, she says she hasn’t been able to reach a federally licensed rehabber in Livingston, a town east of Baton Rouge.
At her location in Youngsville, Labbie is setting up as a staging center for donations of wildlife supplies for other rehabbers. She says a group of rehabbers from Texas will bring items needed by those who were hit hard by the storm. And she’s hoping that someone can donate or loan a shipping container or storage pod that she can use to hold supplies before they are given to other rehabbers.
If you can donate supplies or live in the area and can volunteer, contact Labbie by email or phone (337-288-5146). And if you can make a financial donation, you can do so at Acadiana Wildlife’s website, and Labbie will divide the funds with rehabbers in need.