Ready for 911 Calls From the Wild - NBC Bay Area

Ready for 911 Calls From the Wild

Group introduces country's first wildlife ambulance



    Ready for 911 Calls From the Wild
    Rebecca Dmytryk
    With the exception of the purple stripe and oversized paw print, the ambulance looks a lot like one made for two-legged patients.

    Rescuers dedicated to saving Mother Nature's beloved creatures have a new tool, thanks to donations and hard work.

    WildRescue of Monterey introduced their Wildlife Ambulance over the weekend. Rebecca Dmytryk, founder and CEO of WildRescue, says it's the first one of its kind in the country.

    With the exception of the purple stripe and oversized paw print, the outside looks pretty much like a traditional ambulance made to carry two-legged patients. But on the inside, it's filled with tools to help answer 911 calls from the wild. Money from fundraisers helped WildRescue buy an ambulance for humans and with a few modifications, it's now ready respond to animals in need.

    "We respond just like human paramedics." Dmytryk said. "We receive a call for an animal in trouble, we respond on scene, and if necessary, we provide first aid and transport to a licensed wildlife hospital."

    The group receives hundreds of calls each year to help everything from  bobcats to baby birds. Although they are based on the Central Coast, they've traveled as far south as Los Angeles and as far north as Oregon to help save wild birds and animals.

    It's already proving to be valuable. Last week, the team used the ambulance to help erect a newly built home for a family of owls that was displaced when their nest was chopped down. Two owlets were briefly orphaned when their parents flew the fallen tree in a San Jose neighborhood. With the help of Dmytryk and other volunteers, the parents have returned to the new box and the babies have a very good chance of surviving.

    "Quite often, especially this time of year, the animals we encounter are healthy babies and just need to be reunited with their parents - another service we provide," Dmytryk says.

    WildRescue is looking to train new members for their rescue crew. A new class is starting at the end of May and anyone can participate. Email for more about how you can join the team.