Linda Kuo is a documentary photographer, whose work focuses on social environmental issues, with a special interest in the impact humankind has upon nature and the animal kingdom. Linda has been nominated for PDN's 30: Emerging Photographers...
“It Takes a Village,” addresses the complexities of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in Westchester County, New York, and how the situation has been impacted by human lifestyle changes in the time of COVID-19. The project introduces a local perspective that encourages audiences to see their surroundings and everyday actions in a new light.
Since the pandemic, human activity has been significantly reduced, allowing animals to roam more freely without the threat of encountering humans. But more people at home means increased home improvement and landscaping projects, which have led to a significant rise in pesticide fatalities and habitat destruction, causing dramatic increases in harm to animals.
There are non-profits such as Animal Nation that make it their mission to rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife. Due to this rise in casualties, there has been a 150% increase in injured animals and Animal Nation is overwhelmed with up to 100 calls per day. With limited staff, stretched resources, and a lack of other supporting agencies— veterinary schools have been closed and short staffed—most of these animals will have to be euthanized. As a result, rehabilitation-release rates have plummeted from 80% pre-pandemic, to a current 25%.
This project informs the public about the trials of animal rescue and rehabilitation, and also raises awareness of our impact on the environment. The pictures demonstrate that animal rescue and rehabilitation is a more complex issue than it seems while also encouraging the viewer to recognize the harmful chain reactions caused by human activity. “It Takes a Village” reminds its audience to remain conscious of our relationships with animals and the consequences of our everyday actions.
Patrick of Animal Nation, feeding fawns who were orphaned when their mothers were killed by cars or hunters, or taken by well-meaning individuals who thought they had been abandoned by their mothers, when the mothers were out foraging for food.
Generally, most coyotes are timid and shy and keep their distance from humans. According to the DEC (Department of Environment and Conservation) all coyotes are to be euthanized when trapped unless you are trapping for an injured coyote. Therefore it would be rehabilitated and then released back at site in which it was removed.
Euthanized: A fawn whose mother was hit by a car. The fawn was also hit by the same car and suffered a broken nose so it could not suckle in order to eat. A baby cottontail rabbit with a broken back-attacked by a cat. A turkey vulture with a broken wing - hit by a car.