Jan Malloy To The Rescue!

September 2, 2009

Eight years ago James Island native and Daniel Island Company Human Resources Manager Jan Malloy found an injured baby raccoon near the property outside her office. Malloy was unsure of what to do or whom to contact to save the raccoon that needed to be nursed back to health and released back into the wild. Through the Internet, Malloy quickly learned about Keeper of the Wild, a federally recognized non-profit organization that cares for sick, injured, orphaned or displaced wildlife in South Carolina.

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A 10-day old raccoon after being rescued.

“When I saw that sweet little face looking out at me, I just knew I had to do something, “ explains Malloy. And so began what some would call Malloy’s walk on the wild side.

“They call me Dr. Doolittle at work, “ she says with a laugh. “And I drive a Mini Cooper, which is better known as the Mini Zoo on Wheels.”

beaver
A recently rescued beaver.

Malloy says although her co-workers at Daniel Island Company tease her, they are extremely supportive of her efforts to assist the wildlife in our area. And they have every reason to be! Malloy has rescued a surplus of wild animals through her involvement with Keeper of the Wild over the years. Topping the list: opossums, baby fox, beavers and raccoons – tons of raccoons – which have actually been the most challenging animal for her to rescue. Malloy has been known to climb trees and ladders to aid baby raccoons who have been abandoned by their mothers. When making a rescue, Malloy ties a pillowcase to her hip in order to take all the babies down from the tree at once with ease.

“A major misconception that the publc has regarding raccoons is that they only come out during the day if they are rabid. This just isnt’ true. Typically a mama raccoon feeds during the day because she is busy at night protecting her babies from the night’s predators, “says Malloy.

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A curious baby otter at the Keeper of the Wild center in St. George.

Malloy has always had a strong passion for animals. She recollects as a child holding burial services for butterflies and even insisted that her father pay an $80 veterinarian bill to keep her pet hamster healthy and alive, rather than paying $14 to purchase a new hamster.

Naturally, Malloy’s James Island residence is pet friendly, home to two cats and – you guessed it – a raccoon named Bandit.

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Jan takes care of her No. 1 raccoon, Bandit.

“Bandit is a non-releasable raccoon because she would not be able to survive in the wild on her own, “ Malloy explains. “She’s trained, but it’s like having a two-year-old child for life. We sit on the couch together and snack on Pringles, although we’re not supposed to now because the doctor has instructed Bandit to go on a diet. When her time is up, I know I’ll never have another pet like her – she’s very special.”

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A raccoon at the Keeper of the Wild tent at Park Day on Daniel Island.

If you want to put your own paws to work, Keeper of the Wild relies heavily on public support and volunteers. The loss of habitat in our area makes the demand higher. Volunteer opportunities are available for people of all ages, talents and availability – an hour a week can go a long way.

By Elizabeth Kelly, Junior League of Charleston
Originally published in Cause, the official publication of Junior League of Charleston, Inc., Volume 2, Number 1

For more information about Keeper of the Wild, contact Janet Kinser at (843) 636-1659 or visit www.keeperofthewild.org.

The Keeper of the Wild staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for wildlife emergencies.