Nature Center staffer achieves prestigious first
Amy LeMonds of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village has become the first rehabber in the state of Ohio to be certified by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC).
“The IWRC is an organization that the Center has belonged to for 17 years and I had attended their basic rehabilitation courses during my studies and early career here," explained LeMonds. "When I learned that the IWRC was making strides in providing an official certification to help develop the profession of wildlife rehabilitation, I immediately wanted to get involved. I felt that this new certification was important to support and obtain because I think it helps to create a level of respect for the profession. It requires continuing education coursework to maintain and hopefully will help to set high standards for rehabbers in the future.”
LeMonds joined the nonprofit Center in 2005 and after several years of working alongside Director of Wildlife Dave Wolf and cross-training in several areas of the Center’s Wildlife Department, LeMonds was appointed Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator in 2008.
“This achievement not only shows Amy's dedication and the pride she takes in her profession,” commented Wolf, “but also shows the high standard of excellence Lake Erie Nature & Science Center strives to provide to our constituents.”
The Center has been offering Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education services at no-charge to the public since the 1940s. As well as belonging to organizations like the IWRC and various state and national rehabilitation associations, the Center also maintains operational permits from the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and the Ohio Division of Wildlife. In 2011, the Center admitted over 1,000 wild animals in need of care and assessed an additional 200-plus which were immediately returned to the wild.
“Our team works hard every day,” said LeMonds. “Offering assistance to injured wildlife, with the ultimate goal of releasing back into the wild. But we also hope to educate the public and to inspire them to such a degree that, together, we can truly make a positive impact on wildlife.”
LeMonds’ high regard for this new certification is clear: “This is a major development in the field,” she said. “Thanks to connections forged through IWRC, I’ve even been able to call upon the expertise of rehab professionals around the country. This certification not only makes me better at what I do, but takes the wildlife rehabilitation profession to a new level.”
Frank A Colosimo is the Visitor Experience & Communications Coordinator at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center