About the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute
Recognizing that the planet and its life forms have an inherent worth, and that we have a responsibility to treat the earth and its processes with respect, The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute is dedicated to the stewardship of the earth through environmental education and the rehabilitation of sick, injured, and orphaned native North American wildlife.
About the Institute
The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute at Lees-McRae College (BRWI) opened its doors on May 15, 1995. While serving as a learning laboratory for wildlife biology and rehabilitation students, the Center cares for more than 1,300 injured wild animals, including songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and small mammals, from the Western North Carolina Region per year. Lees-McRae students use their training and education about varying species to teach the public about the value rehabilitating wildlife animals.
The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute is located in the Dan and Dianne May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, situated adjacent to the Elk River on the campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC. State and Federal rehabilitation and education guidelines and permits govern the rehabilitation of animals. The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute at Lees-McRae College is affiliated with the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.
Some animals that cannot be released back into the wild serve as wildlife ambassadors for educational purposes and community presentations. Wildlife Biology and Rehabilitation students practice wildlife education techniques by discussing the care and rehabilitation of ambassador animals at schools, churches, parks, and civic events throughout the state. These opportunities help students gain confidence in their learning and motivate North Carolinians to create positive, effective solutions to complicated environmental challenges.