Alaqua Animal Wildlife Refuge Expanding

Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 10:00 PM CDT
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Freeport, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Alaqua Animal Refuge announced the opening of its new Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

The Alaqua Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a state and federally permitted facility, providing a much-needed resource for rehabilitating sick, injured, or orphaned native wildlife.

Animals at the Refuge who need to be adopted or rehabilitated.

They encompass all animal needs.
Animals at the Refuge who need to be adopted or rehabilitated. They encompass all animal needs.(Alaqua Animal Refuge)

“We are adding a wildlife rehabilitation component to the whole refuge, which is going to be the first of its kind in Walton County,” Director of Wildlife, Shelby Proie said.

According to the employees and volunteers at the wildlife center, this rehabilitation center is much needed in this area. Walton County and other parts of the Florida panhandle are experiencing a huge influx of people. Developers have been building on animal habitats, leaving the animals nowhere to go but the streets.

For these animals that have nowhere to go, the Alaqua Animal Refuge is the place where they can feel safe.

“At our wildlife rehabilitation center we are going to great any sick, injured or orphan native Florida wildlife,” Proie said. “We have nurseries to raise orphans, a full surgical room suite operational hospital with a vet on staff six days a week.

Alaqua's new expansion for Wildlife Rehabilitation
Alaqua's new expansion for Wildlife Rehabilitation(Alaqua Animal Refuge)

Proie said the facility is going to be a great service to our community.

“If you see a turtle with a broken shell, we can fix it, or if you see a hawk with a broken wing, we can fix it, and I think sometimes that people forget about that,” Morgan Gentile, a volunteer said.

With having this convenient service, the animals and people are coming closer than furthering separating.

The Alaqua Animal Refuge Center says to contact them during operating hours. They are willing to drive and pick up the animal in need or how-to guide someone who can bring the animal back to the refuge.

You can reach them by calling 850-880-6399 or emailing them at

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