Founded in 2003, Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation is a state and federally licensed, private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 wildlife rehabilitation center dedicated to the care of injured and orphaned wildlife and to educating the public about wildlife and wildlife-related issues. Flint Creek Wildlife treats all species of wild birds, reptiles and amphibians and treats all wild mammals excluding skunks, bats and raccoons.
Flint Creek Wildlife currently operates its main facility from a property along Flint Creek in the greater Barrington, Illinois area. Flint Creek Wildlife is seeking a larger property that will support its longer term growth. Flint Creek Wildlife has a satellite facility in downtown Chicago at Northerly Island (formerly Meigs Field). Flint Creek Wildlife does not receive government funding and is entirely dependent on public donations. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed under law.
Since accepting its first animals for treatment in early 2004, we have quickly grown to be one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation centers in Illinois, treating over 3,400 animals annually. Our phenomenal growth has resulted from a number of factors. First, we have witnessed the elimination of services at two publicly funded facilities and the elimination or reduction of services at several privately-funded facilities. Second, we are seeing increased demand due to the opening of our Northerly Island location. Many birds that previously had no place to go or had to travel to distant suburban locations are now getting help due to the convenience of Northerly. Third, we receive a growing number of animals from private and public agencies due to our excellent reputation and cooperative relationships with many fine organizations.
Our Barrington location is equipped with almost everything you might find at a veterinarian’s office - IV pumps, incubators, nebulizers, warming blankets and an anesthesia machine to name a few. Although we do not have a veterinarian on staff, some of the finest veterinarians in Illinois assist us with more complicated medical issues. Our primary veterinarian, Dr. Peter Sakas, is one of the top avian veterinarians in the country. Not only is Dr. Sakas experienced in avian issues, he also has extensive experience with wildlife, having previously been the veterinarian for another rehabilitation center. Dr. Sakas and his staff at Niles Animal Hospital provide us with a wealth of knowledge and skill. Our specialists and emergency veterinarians include Dr. Steven Sisler of Eye Care for Animals, Dr. Barbara Stapleton of Barrington Animal Hospital, and Dr. Michael Hochman of Animal Emergency of McHenry County, Dr. Christine Wilmes and Dr. Kenneth Welle. I would also be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the generosity of these vets, many of whom have donated equipment, supplies and time to help our patients.
Our Chicago location, which is made possible by the Chicago Park District’s generous donation of space at Northerly Island, is the only wildlife rehabilitation center in the city. This location is uniquely situated on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront right by the museum campus at the former Meig’s Field Terminal Building. The proximity of Northerly Island is of benefit both to the residents of Chicago as well as to the animals we treat. Many injuries are time-sensitive, particularly acute traumas such as head trauma caused when migratory birds strike the windows of Chicago’s buildings. Early treatment means higher survival rates. In fact, since the 2007 migration season we have achieved an astounding 90% survival rate every year on head trauma cases picked up by our rescue teams in downtown Chicago and treated at our Northerly Island facility, which is over 15% higher than we achieved when birds were transported to the suburbs for initial care.
Because we receive no government funding and cannot yet afford to hire full-time licensed rehabilitators for Northerly Island, the location is currently a triage center focused on stabilizing critically injured animals. Animals are transported daily back to our Barrington facility where they receive round-the-clock medical care.