Philip Jenni, exec. dir., Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota

Philip Jenni—executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota—discusses the history, evolution and current operation of the WRC, one of the nation’s largest and busiest wildlife medical centers. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANoting the WRC treats upwards of 9000 animals every year—last year, that represented 184 species—Jenni rehab2explains that every animal that arrives is first seen by a veterinarian, who determines what section of the Center that animal should next be sent to, akin to triage at an emergency room for humans. (The WRC website features a “Critter Ticker,”  which loosely resembles a Twitter feed, indicating the kind of animals that arrived each day, and when.) He also notes that the Center is a highly seasonal operation, and they’re in a lighter phase this time of year. Pointing out that the WRC provides singular educational opportunities for veterinary and pre-vet students, Jenni also describes the sprawling volunteer program, where as many as 500 volunteers—in the busiest, peak season—help provide care for the animals that pass through the Center. He also confirms the fundamental goal for these patients is always to release them back into the wild. (,


COMEDY CORNER: Matt Braunger’s “Owls—Part One”   (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” EELS’ “I Like Birds,” John Vanderslice’s “White Dove”Sons of Hippies’ “Animal Battle,”  instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  Beatles’  “Rocky Raccoon”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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