Howell Nature Center will unveil the coyote’s new habitat on Saturday
September 9, 2022
Jessica Mathews / email@example.com
The Howell Nature Center’s resident coyote, Kala, has moved into a new home, and the community is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday to officially unveil the new habitat.
The Nature Center’s Wild Wonders wildlife park is forever home to 75 wild animals native to Michigan. Whether they are permanently injured, kept illegally as pets, or bred in captivity, unreleasable wild animals rely on the Center for a second chance at life. Acting as wildlife ambassadors, officials say they help educate thousands of community members each year to live in harmony with native species and other wildlife.
Found alone and apparently an orphan, Kala arrived at the clinic when she was 4 months old. Despite all efforts to rehabilitate her, she was found to be unreleasable in her natural habitat.
Over the past two years, the Nature Center and the Brighton Kem Krest team have teamed up to imagine a larger, more natural habitat for Kala. It is designed to provide him and other future resident coyotes with a better quality of life. Officials say her long-awaited trip to her new home has finally become a reality after years of funding from Kem Krest and other local partners.
CEO JC Carlson tells WHMI that their guests really enjoy interacting with Kala, but her habitat wasn’t very visually appealing and they wanted to enrich her life and give her more room to move around. He says they built a beautiful waterfall and a pond, as well as a small cave for Kala to shelter from the elements. Carlson says various plantings have been added to mimic the natural environment and there is now a very large open space for Kala.
The project has been underway for two years and most of the construction work has taken place in the past year. Carlson said they are building something really special at the Center and it is thanks to all the community support and partnerships like Kem Krest and they are very grateful.
The hope is that Kem Krest’s partnership on the new coyote habitat will set a precedent for future expansions to come.
Carlson says they want to show off Kala’s new habitat and spread the word to the community to help build the best wildlife park possible. He emphasized “we have dreams” and they want to take the wildlife park to a whole new level. As for Kala, Carlson says they now have an exhibit that would rival any local zoo exhibit or other animal parks – adding that they “really brought nature to her”.
Carlson says they want to create habitats and really educate the community on how people can live in harmony with native wildfires — which is a huge goal. For example, he says coyotes are often reviled and people fear for their pets and fear the unknown. Carlson says they are working to educate about the ecosystem values that coyotes bring and their unique aspects – adding that they hope to educate and captivate people to become stewards of wildlife in the environment.
Saturday’s event begins at 10 a.m. The official inauguration ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by a short oral presentation. Those interested in participating are requested to register. Details are available in the link provided.
Carlson will also be a guest on WHMI’s Viewpoint show this Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m.