Clinic ‘doodles for wildlife’

By Sheila Maltos

The University Wildlife Medical Clinic will be hosting its fifth annual Doodle for Wildlife benefit Saturday at 6 p.m. in the South Lounge of the Illini Union in room ABC. The funds raised will cover costs to treat about 2,000 wounded, sick and abandoned animals of the east-central Illinois region next year.

The clinic hopes to raise enough money to cover common annual expenses such as performing diagnostics, radiographs, blood work and food, said Kara Osterbur, co-manager of the clinic. Last year’s event raised $28,500, according to the clinic Web site.

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The event will auction autographed pictures, celebrity doodles, gift packages, adventure opportunities and other items that have been donated.

Ten pieces will be up for bid during a live auction and 75 in a silent auction.

“It’s extremely fun, there’s a lot of things up for bid,” Osterbur said. “It’s just a great event to eat good food, drink free wine and just have a great time and support a great cause.”

Some celebrity pieces include doodles from John Travolta and Jackie Chan, and an autographed photo of Tiger Woods.

“We have wish lists of what we’d really like to have so, if we ever feel like we have extra money that we can spend on (a) new piece of equipment that’s ideal, that’s what we’d really like to have,” she said.

The wildlife clinic area, located in the Vet Med Teaching Hospital, is the only animal wildlife clinic in the Central Illinois region. The clinic is financed by the College of Veterinary Medicine and depends on student volunteers to help treat animals, said Julia Whittington, professor and program director of the clinic.

Some of the most common treated animals at the clinic are those hit by cars or struck by power lines that suffer from bone fractures, and viral infections, Osterbur and Whittington said.

The clinic treats all animals except for skunks and bats, Whittington said, and hopes to continue to provide a “little benefit for animals that would otherwise die in the wildlife.”