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Southern Tier Tuesdays: Turtle Crossing Wildlife Rehabilitation Farm awarded $2,000 grant

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's noon newscast.
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 3:02 PM EDT
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ITHACA, N.Y. (WBNG) -- Turtle Crossing Wildlife Rehabilitation Farm is this week’s winner of a $2,000 grant from Upstate Shredding through Southern Tier Tuesdays.

Turtle Crossing Wildlife Rehabilitation Farm rescues injured or orphaned wildlife and provides safe, stimulating habitats for swift recovery and release. Owner & Executive Director Cheryl Rigas said the demand for rehabilitation is great.

“I feel like we serve a great need in our community for taking care of wildlife that’s been injured or orphaned,” Rigas said. “Most often as a result of humans whether they’re hit by cars or due to construction or agriculture.”

Rigas said close proximity to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital, at Cornell University, allows her to assist in emergency situations.

“It serves as a great hub for them and for animals that come in for an emergency situation from the Adirondacks or from the Buffalo region,” Rigas said. “After they’re taken care of at Cornell they can come to me temporarily to be sure they’re ready to go back to the rehabber in the area they came from.”

Wildlife rehabilitation has always been a part of Rigas’s life.

“My mother actually was a wildlife rehabilitator 50 years ago,” Rigas said. “It’s always been part of my upbringing in some capacity and I have a farm with livestock and it just started feeling like something that I would love to do.”

Rigas is working on receiving her migratory bird license. This license will allow her to take care of native songbirds and native species in New York State.

“Right now I have 39 birds and 31 of them I’m hand feeding, I have adult porcupines, juvenile woodchucks, squirrels and I have quite a few turtles,” Rigas said.

This grant money will be used to purchase lumber and replace the floor of the organization’s bird room, as well as build a new raptor flight cage.

Southern Tier Tuesdays is a philanthropic endeavor of Adam Weitsman, owner of Upstate Shredding, and his daughter, Clover. For more information or to nominate a Southern Tier non-profit go to southerntiertuesdays.com.