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Cramped in La Guerche-sur-l’Aubois, the hospital dedicated to wildlife wants to fly to Mornay-Berry

In appearance, a pavilion similar to its neighbors, in a residential area away from the center of La Guerche-sur-l’Aubois. However, in the basement, no car, bicycles or laundry room. But an operating room, surgical equipment, cages and transparent boxes, sheltering squirrels, chicks and weasels in convalescence.

A black kite treated by the Fauna Sauvage Hospital in La Guerche-sur-l’Aubois, released at Bec d’Allier

It is in this constrained space of 62 m² that, since January and the green light from the Departmental Directorate for Employment, Labor, Solidarity and Protection of the Populations of Cher (DDETSPP), the wild hospital – Center France has taken up residence.

Three hundred animals admitted since last January

Supported by the Cap biodiversity France association, created in 2018 specifically to set up this project, the structure has made the care of wild animals its specialty. In four months, the care center claims the reception of 500 telephone calls and the admission of 300 injured, sick or orphaned animals, entrusted by individuals.

“These are figures that demonstrate the importance of our structure in the care of wild animals, slips Tom Berger, co-director with Fanny Villain. You can take care of birds, reptiles, small and medium-sized mammals here. We would still like to diversify, with the reception of larger animals. But the lack of space prevents us from doing so. »

La Guerche-sur-l’Aubois, temporary solution

Designed to “fill a void in the center of the country” in terms of caring for wild animals which, until then, had to be sent to the nearest care centers, nestled in Maisons-Alfort (Val-de-Marne). ) and in Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme), the XXS version hospital in La Guerche-sur-L’Aubois should only be “a temporary solution”.

A new project to grow

Tenant of this pavilion in La Guerche-sur-L’Aubois where emergency interventions and hospitalizations are increasing, before the animals are released or, depending on the species, redirected to other establishments for their rehabilitation, the Hôpital sauvage – Center France has however drawn a line under its initial project. Soared the construction of a structure with an area of ​​350 m², on land in the domain of the Château de la Grand’Cour, in Mornay-Berry, property of the family of Tom Berger.

If, in recent years, links have been forged with other care centers, environmental associations and equipment manufacturers, the funds raised have not made it possible to raise the 850,000 euros necessary to bring a brand new establishment out of the ground. nine.

So the officials of the wild hospital – Center France have reviewed their plans, but not their ambitions. Still in Mornay-Berry, where the head office of Cap biodiversity France is established, it is now towards the acquisition of an existing building that the structure wishes to move.

“Outdoors, one hectare would offer us the possibility of installing aviaries and enclosures to accommodate larger individuals, such as deer”

Tom Shepherd Co-director of the wildlife hospital

“We step on our feet a bit at La Guerche in a space optimized to the maximum, where we only use 1/10th of the equipment available, continues Tom Berger. The building we want to buy offers 400 m² indoors and would allow us to increase our reception capacity and improve working comfort, in particular with the integration of a quarantine area and for necropsies. Outdoors, one hectare would offer us the possibility of installing aviaries and enclosures to accommodate larger individuals, such as deer. »

Looking for donations and public subsidies

Less expensive than the initial project, the new line of work that the team of full-time volunteer caretakers wants to bring to fruition still requires an estimated budget of 735,000 euros, including the amount of the work and the 175,000 euros for the acquisition of the property. .

premium The first owl treated at the Guerchois hospital was released in Boischaut, along with two other birds

“2022 will be a year of research for private and public funds, with the objective of opening at the end of 2023 and financing two salaried positions, concludes Tom Berger. By working on an existing building, we could phase the work and expand over the payment of donations and subsidies. We hope that there will be an awareness of the communities as to the need for our establishment on the territory. Both to collect, treat, rehabilitate and release wild animals in distress, but also to play a role of sentinel, health watch, alerting the authorities in the event of an epizootic. »

Practice. In case of discovery of an injured animal, contact, every day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Benjamin Gardel


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