Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care is inviting the public to its annual open house this Sunday, August 3.
This year’s open house offers a first: A virtual tour with TV monitors set up outside of each rehabilitation cage for people to better see the animals inside.
“We hope the animals will be where the cameras are facing so people can get a full 40-inch view of them inside,” said Tom Millham, who runs the wildlife rehab center with his wife, Cheryl, and a team of volunteers.
It’s a busy time of year for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.
The center is caring for nine orphaned black bear cubs, the most it has ever cared for at one time.
It’s also caring for 12 raccoons, three red-tail hawks, two great horned owls, a Canada goose and a few animals it doesn’t see many of come in for treatment, including a flying squirrel, a yellow-bellied marmot and a spotted skunk.
“We’re seeing a lot of firsts this year,” Tom Millham said about the center’s animal patients.
The open house is the one time of year when the general public is allowed onto Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care’s grounds to see where wild birds and animals are rehabilitated to be released back into the wild.
Trained volunteers who work with the nonprofit organization will be on hand to guide people around the grounds and explain the various reasons the animals are at the rehabilitation center, as well as the outlook for their eventual release.
It could be one of the last open house at the location Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has called home for 37 years on Cherry Hills Circle.
Volunteers will have site drawings for wildlife center’s planned relocation and expansion to a 27-acre site near the corner of Al Tahoe Boulevard and Pioneer Trail.
The organization hopes to start construction on that project next year, building a new rehabilitation center with more and larger cages and a maintenance garage and caretaker house.
It is trying to raise money for additional phases that would include an education center, sterile surgery and examination room and receiving area, café and gift shop, conference room and a permanent sanctuary for animals that cannot be released back into the wild.
Retail items will be available for sale at the open house, including t-shirts, hats, posters, magnets, license plate holders and pins. Tax deductible donations are not only welcomed, but encouraged.
With lots of animals in for treatment and lots of statewide media coverage about animals the center has cared for in recent months, Tom Millham said he’s expecting a strong turnout for the open house.
“We’re getting the place all spruced up and cleaned up so everyone can come and see the best part of what Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care does,” he said.