The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge
recently hosted founding members and board of directors from Sunday’s Child to tour the new radiology suite located on our campus located at 3051 Cloptons Circle, in Navarre. The addition of new digital radiology equipment was made possible by grants awarded to ECWR from Sunday’s Child and the Levin Family Foundation.
The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is the rehabilitation facility for native Florida fauna and serves Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties. The ECWR Marine Mammal Stranding Team covers even more of the Panhandle with coverage starting at the Alabama/Florida state line through Walton County. Each year the ECWR cares for over 2000 orphaned, injured or sick native wildlife in order to protect, treat and release native species.
“In June of 2020, the members of Sunday’s Child awarded a grant of $25,000 to Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR), which was earmarked for the project 'Radiograph for Rehabilitation to Return them to the Wild.' This equipment is successfully aiding in saving lives and mitigating the suffering of wildlife, and most likely will improve their chances for reintroduction into their native, wild homes. This is one example of how our local charities work to make our communities better,” remarked Chuck Presti, Sunday’s Child Board of Director member.
"The addition of our new digital radiograph machine makes a world of difference in the medical care we provide here at Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. Prior to this equipment, we would have to physically manipulate an animal in order to find where and how something is fractured. However, we don't just use the radiographs to find broken bones, it is so much more helpful than that! Since receiving this equipment, we have found swallowed hooks in our shorebird patients. This led to a new animal care protocol to radiograph every shorebird at intake, so we know the ins and outs of what we're treating, as we've now learned they don't just have external injuries. Another fun surprise we've discovered with the use of digital x-rays is a pregnant mother raccoon and her three babies inside. We would've never known about this special case, and it is very good to know these things as it can alter our drug choices and treatment plans."-Michelle Pettis, Director of Animal Care ECWR
ECWR Executive Director Crystie Baker stated that, “Having a state-of-the-art digital x-ray machine has been invaluable to not only improving the quality and speed of care our patients receive, but also in providing new educational opportunities to our interns and volunteers. Many of our interns and volunteers wish to pursue careers in veterinary medicine or wildlife rehabilitation, so observing our staff utilize the x-ray and better diagnose patients allows us to provide them a better and even more unique learning experience. We are so grateful for the grants that made this possible and know that it will positively impact wildlife and their human caregivers for years to come.”
For more than twenty years, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge’s daily operational goal has been the rehabilitation and release of Northwest Florida native wildlife. The staff is on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist local and states agencies in managing wildlife. The ECWR works with local governments, private businesses and individuals to protect habitats and the wildlife that lives here.