Spring is a happy time for many.
But in Whitechurch, the volunteers at the only dedicated wildlife rescue centre in Cork are preparing for an influx of injured animals.
Spring marks the beginning of mating season, which is a particularly vulnerable period for Cork’s wild creatures.
Julie Cronin launched Wildlife Rescue Cork in 2017, starting with just a few hutches in her back garden. The demand was quickly apparent and through dedicated fundraising, Julie has been able to expand.
“Her back garden is now wedged with enclosures of various shapes and sizes including a large dedicated infirmary complete with isolation suite and incubators.” said local photographer Chani Anderson, who visited recently to take these beautiful images.
“It is modeled on similar international refuges she had worked in but is one of just a small handful of centres dedicated to wildlife in Ireland and the only one in Cork.
“The most recent project is a new aviary which is in the process of being built. The centre is currently home to nine hedgehogs, a swan, a pigeon and a fox, but this is quiet and according to Julie in the spring and summer the pens are often overflowing.”
According to Julie, injured foxes are very often a soft target for hunters.
The centre is now a full-time job for Julie who receives a small government grant to help with the running costs but is largely reliant on donations from the public.
Determined never to turn a hurt animal away, Julie and her volunteers man the centre’s email 24 hours a day, encouraging the public to reach out if they spot a wild animal in distress.
This week alone, the team has been called to help a bat, a buzzard, a number of foxes, a crow and a woodcock.