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Surrogate mom

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Unlike most business professionals, Amy Henry would prefer to work herself out of a job, not into one.

Like the handful of volunteers she coordinates, Henry would rather see birds, foxes, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and other Colorado denizens out in nature, rather than at the Wild Forever Foundation. But unfortunately, human encroachment into wildlife habitat generates a consistent summer clientele for the wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center on North Hancock Avenue.

Recently, an unusually large batch of 23 baby birds was brought to the center, after some children at Fort Carson took them from the wild. Survival rates at rescue centers hover at around 50 percent, and young birds are among the most delicate creatures. So far, eight of the birds have died.

For Henry, foundation president and facility director, this brings to mind a couple things. First: It's a myth that if you touch a bird, its parents won't return. "Birds have a poor sense of smell and are excellent parents," she says.

And on a related, but broader, note "Wildlife rescue is a symptom of how humans have chosen to live out of sync with nature," she says. "The animals are the ones who suffer."

Henry, who is working on an ecopsychology master's at Boulder's Naropa University, believes in reconnecting people with nature so that their choices and behaviors will stem from a natural mindset. To make a donation to her organization or to find volunteer information, call 475-9453 or visit wildforever.org.

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