All of the animals at the compound have been injured, rescued from danger or orphaned. Most will be returned to nature in a matter of weeks, some in days. But a few remain as permanent residents, unable to fend for themselves, such as Casey the fox, Jimmy the crow and Bobby the sparrow hawk.
There isnt a day that goes by that I dont learn something. Constantly, new things are going on.
Roth says he is undaunted by the local culinary fare he has been told to expect: porcupine, hedgehog, python, alligator and monkey.
Elsewhere around the five acre compound are a red tail hawk, a screech owl, a fox, deer, raccoons, rabbits, possums, squirrels, a Canada goose, woodchucks just about any animal that is found in the wild in McHenry County. Inside the house that serves as a combination office hospital, an approximately 200 year old Blandings turtle pokes its head up from the partially filled bathtub. The turtle was rescued by a resident from a precarious position on a highway, and Joosten says it will be placed in a
Director Sally Joosten says he is one of the most active of about 80 people who help at the center.
That would have been my choice if I had one, Roth says. Im going to have a chance to live in a rain forest. Were losing a lot of those around the world. And Im going to have to learn French. Its going to be an interesting change in lifestyle.
Animals Get Chance To Return To The Wild
I had known Sally for many, many years, and Ive known her work. After my wife died, I gave some donations out here. The more I got involved, the more I wanted to help. I do whatever is necessary, wherever I can help.
The injuries of 98 percent of all creatures brought in here are directly or indirectly caused by man, Joosten says.
Living in Western society is fine, but you reach the saturation point, Roth says. Ill really get back to the basics there.
safe pond away from any roads.
Im going to miss him, Joosten says. I dont think Ive met a man quite like him. Hes our all around helper. The Peace Corps is gaining, and we are losing.
The permanent residents either have injuries that prevent their return or have become too accustomed to humans for their own good. Some will act as surrogate parents for orphaned young that are brought in.
Im open minded, he says. Im not squeamish when it comes to that.
Roth sold his home because hes joining the Peace Crops. He leaves in June for six weeks training in the African nation of Zaire, followed by a two year stint in Gabon, a country on the African west coast, where he will manage woodworking shops that will produce school desks.
I had checked into several volunteer groups, and it seemed that they
Roth has volunteered at the center for more than a year. I lost my wife a year ago last December, and the old world kind of came to a stop, he says. My wife was a real lover of wildlife. A lot of this is in her memory.
Roth, who recently retired as a machinist, says he has relished hisNow that I dont work, I really dont know how I ever had the time to work, he says. Its such a relief to be able to do the things I really enjoy. Thats what retirement should be.
(the Peace Corps) had the most concern for the people for whom they work, he says.
underprivileged inner city youths. Until recently, he also was a member of a volunteer search and rescue squad, but resigned when he sold his home and had to give up the Doberman pinscher that had been his tracking dog.
During about 40 hours of volunteer work he puts in weekly, Roth, 60, does maintenance work and helps with the care and feeding of the animals. Recently the center had about 80, but this figure will grow into the hundreds mostly orphaned young by mid to late June.
He recently completed construction on the 48 foot flight cage that will be the young orphaned owls home until it is able to return to the wild and fend for itself. He also has donated equipment and money for the operation.
He says he told the Peace Corps he would work anywhere, but was happy to draw the assignment in Gabon, a former French possession.
He was a volunteer firefighter when he lived in Union and a volunteer paramedic when he lived in Woodstock. He also helps at a county food pantry and at Pleasant Valley, an outdoor nature and recreation area for
He explains that a key element of the care of the wild animals brought to the center is to prevent them from becoming comfortable around humans.
Roth, a Chicago native who has lived in McHenry County Discount Women Canada Goose Kensington Parka Brown New Zealand since 1941, is no stranger to volunteer work.