Emberly Davis, 11, has been volunteering at the Forever Wild wildlife animal rehabilitation center for three years.
“I’m mostly in charge of the night birds and creatures,” she says, explaining that she feeds the hawks, falcons and owls on her weekly visits to the center with her mother, Shanna Kovach. Emberly also takes care of rabbits, squirrels, ducks and geese, as well as the occasional coyote or pelican. Forever Wild has, surprisingly, rehabilitated three pelicans in recent years.
The center, she says, cares for wounded, sick and orphaned animals, with the goal of releasing them back to the wild. A family friend had first suggested to her mother that Emberly would enjoy working there. Along with feeding animals, she also helps with cleaning, she says, noting that the center could use additional volunteers.
“I think it’s a really big mitzvah to be doing this,” says Emberly, who just finished sixth grade at Tucson Hebrew Academy.
“It’s made me a little bit more sensitive to wounded animals,” she says, explaining that she used to “get kind of grossed out when I saw stuff like that, but now it’s no big deal.”
When she grows up, Emberly wants to work in some way with animals.
Being a big-animal vet is one possibility, she says.
But she’s also thinking about becoming an environmental lawyer. She explains that the main reason Harris hawks end up at the rescue center is that they sit on power lines and get electrocuted. “I could change a law about that,” says Davis, who is also the daughter of Bryan Davis, the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.
But for now, she’s happy to continue volunteering at Forever Wild.