El Paso

El Paso woman passes up on retirement to run wildlife refuge

El Paso woman passes on retirement to...

EL PASO, Texas - The woman who runs a wildlife refuge didn't follow up on her promise to retire in August of 2015.

Josie Karam, of Second Chance Wildlife, has been helping rehabilitate animals for 16 years. Karam said she has taken in more than 10,000 injured and orphaned animals over the years.

"I was exhausted! It's a 14 hour day during the Spring and Summer months," said Karam of her aborted plan to retire.

In 2016, Karam said she "took in about a third" of the animals she normally does. She estimates that is more than 360 animals, with the majority coming in May through August.

"Taking them and giving them a second chance at life, and actually being able to release them back into the wild, that's all I need," Karam said.

Karam said she is set to acquire six-and-a-half acres in the Upper Valley this June to build animal sanctuaries entirely financed by private donations.

"The size of the facility is going to wake everybody up as to the need, we will probably multiply our intakes by two or three times," she said.

With he help of the zoo and generous donations, Karam hopes to get licensed to rehabilitate all animals, including hawks. She plans to use donations to build a 60-foot long, 12-foot high aviary to house the birds of prey. 

The nonprofit faces financial difficulty because it relies completely on private donations. If you would like to donate or volunteer, click here.

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