RAMONA, Calif. (KGTV) - The Fund for the Animals Wildlife Center is at capacity while it cares for a record number of patients.
At the center, experts rehabilitate animals they hope to release back into the wild. Most of the predators are kept in the back of the 13 acre property to keep humans from imprinting on them, affecting their ability to survive after release.
Staff take extreme care and 'secretly' feed their animals.
From January 1to July 1, the center cared for 588 animals. As of Friday, they're currently caring for more than 100, and at capacity.
Some of their animals documented in pictures provided to 10News, like an orphaned badger, the first badger the center has had in 20 years. They also have a Great-Horned Owl which was hit by a car.
"Our patients are one of three things, they're unfortunately orphaned, or ill or injured," director Matt Anderson said.
They've seen 35 percent more patients compared to the same time last year, meaning they're caring for 154 more animals.
"It's what we call baby season, everybody expects it, it's a hectic time, all hands to the deck, the staff are wonderful so we're pushing forward and already have some success stories," Anderson said.
The Center is funded through donations and The Humane Society of the US, those dollars critical now more than ever. Another factor behind the boom, higher rain levels meant more food all the way up the food chain.
"Lots more plant life, and lots more to eat for the prey items that our predators eat," he said that's also what brings predators into our neighborhoods.
"They're really really good at finding their own food, and so it's best to let them alone in their habitat and enjoy them from a distance," Anderson said.
Reminding us how important it is to leave the animals alone so they can survive, go back into that sensitive ecosystem and keep it in balance.