SCPMG Family Medicine physician Christine Effimoff, MD, (Ventura) shares her story about volunteering at the California Wildlife Center in Malibu – something she’s been doing in 4-hour shifts, twice a month, since November 2014. She took a few minutes to answer these questions by email.
Exactly what do you do when you are at the California Wildlife Center? We rehabilitate displaced wildlife that isn’t thriving due to injury, poisoning, or falling out of a nest. California Wildlife Center also rehabs elephant seal pups, and this year, due to the great need, sea lions.
For injuries, we evaluate and allow the animals to heal in a protected environment. We then ensure they are capable of taking care of themselves before release. The picture of me with the hawk (below) is while exercising it to make sure it can fly vigorously before release.
For poisoning, we support the animal with nutrition and hydration as the toxin clears.
For displaced babies, we feed on a regular schedule, advancing the diet from formula, to mushy food, to their natural diet, and ensure they can fend for themselves before release.
Why do you volunteer there? I decided to volunteer after seeing them rescue sea lions that were washing ashore at Point Dume.
What do you get from volunteering? I get to hang out with other (geeky) people who are really into wildlife and wanting to give back. The facility is situated on several acres in the beautiful canyons of Malibu, so its a great setting.
What other type of people volunteer there? I’ve met a variety of people — from aspiring veterinarians, to women whose children have left the nest and want to do something fulfilling, to professors from Pepperdine.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Effimoff also practices wellness by cooking delicious recipes with ingredients from organic food delivered from Farm Fresh to You. Check out recipes she’s shared.
If you’d like more recipes or to learn about Farm Fresh to You,view this special discount for new and current subscribers previously posted.