DENVER (CBS4) – There’s trouble for Denver’s wild birds as the city’s only nonprofit wild bird rehab center may be forced to close.

It was feeding time for baby violet green swallows on Sunday at Wild B.I.R.D. Rehabilitation with a nutritious worm snack mom should be providing, but she was not there.

“We have to hand feed them probably 15 worms every 30 minutes,” veterinarian student Nabilla Zahir said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The orphans are just one of hundreds at Wild B.I.R.D. Rehab, cared for by round-the-clock rehabbers like Zahir.

“I do everything from swallows to pelicans to great blue herons,” Zahir said.

Vets and rehabbers take care of more than a 100 different types of wild birds, from the very young, to the gravely injured, to the very sick.

“Now this month it will be West Nile,” Debbie Strimple said.

The center was started 14 years ago by Strimple.

“Before we opened Wild B.I.R.D. all the animal controls euthanized most of the birds,” Strimple said.

Now, after 14 years and in all 32,000 birds treated and saved, Strimple now worries it will all come crashing down.

“We have to leave because of zoning issues,” she said.

The area of Denver isn’t zoned for that purpose and the rehab center has to move by Sept 1. A donor provided a location in Wheat Ridge but now they need the funds.

“We have all the paperwork and all the licenses,” Strimple said.

The nonprofit needs to raise just shy of $500,000 for a state-of-the-art facility.

“We need a bigger location and something that’s easier to sterilize,” Strimple said.

Otherwise it must close its doors, leaving birds in trouble with few options and ending the thousands of stories of happy endings.

“Seeing them released, see them fly, it’s amazing,” Zahir said.

Wild B.I.R.D. must raise the money needed by Nov. 1 to open its new location by spring. Those who would like to make a tax deductible donation can visit for information.


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