Delicate pink fingers reach over the top of her latex gloves as Lisa Marra holds a baby opossum while cleaning cages and feeding songbirds at the Sacramento Wildlife Care Association. She checks in on a litter of Western gray squirrels with unopened eyes, rescued when their nest was blown from a tree on a recent windy day. In a child’s playpen covered with screen netting, Cedar Waxwings feast on Pyracantha berries while recovering from injuries.
Having worked in veterinary medicine for the past 20 years, Marra found herself between jobs while living temporarily in Sacramento to care for her elderly grandfather. With a strong passion for wildlife conservation, she was inspired to volunteer for the rescue program.
Almost forced to close its doors last year due to financial difficulties, the nonprofit relies heavily on volunteers as its main workforce.
Baby birds are fed on frequent schedules from sunup to sundown and the entire second floor of the McClellan Park building is turned into a songbird nursery during their busy season from April to September.
“To see them come in here in their condition and get the care they need to be released back into the wild is the best feeling,” said Marra. “It makes you happy to know you’ve had some hand in that.”
To sign up to become a volunteer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wildlifecareassociation.com.