Flint Creek Wildlife believes that public education is essential in order to foster an appreciation and respect for wildlife and wildlife habitats. To that end, we offer a variety of educational programming that can be tailored to almost any age group. We also customize some programs to address specific audience interests.
Our day-to-day interactions with the public often help us to identify areas of concern. As these areas are identified, we develop action plans to address these educational voids. An example of this process follows.
We previously cared for a Fox Squirrel that was shot in the face with an air rifle. As a wildlife rehabilitation facility, we provided all necessary care for the squirrel, including medical care, housing, food and enrichment. This care continued for months during his long recuperation. But from an educational perspective, this story raises several opportunities. The first and most obvious relates to basic respect for wildlife. Had this boy been taught respect for wildlife, perhaps he wouldn't have been shooting at squirrels in the first place. Instead, he would have realized that they, too, are living, breathing creatures that experience pain and that will likely die when shot - even with an air rifle. Second, this unfortunate situation raises opportunities to educate the public about gun laws. Shooting an air rifle within his village limits is illegal. Third, shooting at wildlife, except for certain species and ONLY when covered by government issued hunting permits, is also illegal.
As educators, we must ask ourselves how to most effectively turn this tragedy into something positive. It is clear that Flint Creek Wildlife must tell the Fox Squirrel's story in the hope of avoiding a similar situation in the future. And so we will....