Seven members of the Wildlife Protection Club (WPC) went to the nature and rehabilitation center, Gumbo Limbo, in Boca Raton on Feb. 20 to observe how rehabilitation centers treat their animals.
“It was really cool to see the different types of tanks the animals live in, what their diets consist of and their interactions with other animals,” said club co-president Rachel Gutner.
Gutner said it was important for the club to go to Gumbo Limbo because it encouraged conservation efforts within the club by exposing members to nature centers.
“We want club members to experience as many nature centers as possible so that we spread knowledge and awareness about taking care of animals and the environment,” she said.
Senior Colton Murphree, a WPC member, said he was glad to see the volunteers at Gumbo Limbo help prepare the animals to go back into the wild after rehabilitation.
“It was my first time going and it was such a great experience to see all of the sea turtles, stingrays and different types of fish healing in a safe environment,” he said.
While at Gumbo Limbo, members saw how large the rehabilitation center was. Murphree said he didn’t realize how often animals need rehabilitation.
“I was shocked to see the amount of animals in the rehabilitation center,” he said. “I learned that most animals get injured from trash people leave all the time.”
Murphree said he will now be more cautious about littering and picking up litter he sees on the ground because of this experience.
“The last thing I want is to contribute to the injuries of the animals,” he said. “I want to do everything in my power to make sure less animals need rehabilitation from human caused injuries.”
WPC Vice President Camila Lim Hing said the animals were treated with love and care at the rehabilitation center.
“The volunteers were so passionate about helping the animals,” she said. “It’s great to see a place taking such pride in making sure animals get proper care after getting injured.”
Even though it was a far trip for WPC, Lim Hing said she would definitely want to go back to feed the fish and revisit the animals in rehabilitation.
“It was such a cool experience to see all of the different types of fish and get to feed them out of our hands,” she said.