WILDLIFE WAYSTATION REOPENS
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2000:
ANGELES NATL. FOREST– –
Wildlife Waystation on July 26 was allowed to
resume accepting furbearing mammals and
nongame bird species for rehabilitation and lifetime
care, as necessary, on the 110th day after
the 23-year-old sanctuary was closed by the
California Department of Fish and Game.
Acknowledging at a June 29 Newhall
Superior Court hearing that the Waystation had
violated a three-year probation imposed in 1997
for allegedly altering stream beds without a permit,
Waystation founder Martine Colette
accepted an extension of the probation until
June 28, 2001, and agreed to supervision by a
court-appointed special master while work continues
to achieve regulatory compliance.
Colette told ANIMAL PEOPLE that
she expected the designation of the special master
to allow her to proceed with building permanent
housing for 50 chimpanzees received in
1995 from the defunct Laboratory for Experimental
Medicine and Surgery In Primates at
New York University. Construction began in
1996, but was halted when the site turned out to
extend several feet across the sanctuary boundary,
into the Angeles National Forest. Design
problems have delayed the work ever since.
Allowed to nominate special master
candidates, Colette said she named American
Humane Association western office director
Gini Barrett and Barrett’s predecessor, Betty
Denny Smith, among others. Both Barrett and
Smith have also held oversight roles with the
Los Angeles Board of Animal Regulation.
The court is to appoint the special
master on August 29.
Wildlife Care Center
As the Waystation resumed its longtime
role as the primary wildlife rescue facility
in Southern California, the two-year-old Wetlands
and Wildlife Care Center of Orange
County declared on July 18 that it would soon
close due to inability to raise an annual budget
of $65,000, plus $45,000 to $50,000 needed to
pave the parking lot, add a wheelchair ramp,
and make other improvements to meet
Huntington Beach zoning standards. Manager
Gary Gorman, working without pay, said the
center was barely raising $1,200 a month.
About 75 resident animals were to be relocated.
Other refuge cases
Prairie Wind Animal Refuge operators
Michael Jurich and Kelli Henrikson, of
Kiowa, Colorado, pleaded guilty in June to
possession of 1.22 ounces of marijuana discovered
in a home on the refuge on May 26, when
Elbert County sheriff’s deputies searched the
property for records in connection with a
Colorado Division of Wildlife a n d U S D A
investigation of a May 20 tiger attack that cost
volunteer Renee Black, 28, her right arm.
Black attempted to pet the recently
arrived young tiger while escorting a visitor.
Prairie Wind had surrendered its USDA
exhibitors’ permit earlier in the year.
A June 26 Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission raid on the premises
of Wildlife Rescue, Inc., in Seminole
Heights, Florida, reportedly found the remains
of 20 to 25 animals so badly decomposed as to
be unidentifiable, two three-foot American alligators,
five striped mud turtles, two vultures,
three ferrets, two emus, and a Rottweiler.
Obtaining a state permit to exhibit
wildlife in 1984, proprietor Bert Wahl w a s
previously cited for animal abuse and neglect in
1988, 1992, 1993, 1995, and 1997, while
showing off a captive-bred puma that he said
was a Florida panther. Wahl beat at least five
charges, but was convicted at least twice, and
according to FFWCC Lt. Dennis Parker, no
longer holds any permits to possess wildlife.