Wildlife Rescue Center | St. Louis Public Radio

Wildlife Rescue Center

Wildlife Rescue Center intern Katelyn Milbrandt feeds an orphaned Virginia possum. Wildlife rescuers in St. Louis have had to overhaul their work routines due to the pandemic during their busiest time of year.
Wildlife Rescue Center

For Joe Hoffmann, spring is like the dinner rush at a restaurant. 

But instead of customers, there are rows of hungry baby birds, demanding to be fed.

“It’s just crazy,” said Hoffmann, executive director of Wild Bird Rehabilitation in Overland. “We're working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, constantly feeding them.”

Wildlife rescuers in St. Louis are gearing up for the springtime influx of orphaned animals, as baby birds, squirrels and rabbits begin arriving in droves. But this year, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing organizations to make major changes to keep staff and volunteers from getting sick.

A group of summertime visitors take a break from swimming in the Meramec River to pose for a photo. The area now home to Castlewood State Park was once a bustling summer resort destination in the early 1900s.
Castlewood State Park

If you look closely, you’ll notice something odd tucked into the hills of Castlewood State Park: crumbling concrete ruins.

Listener Joel Verhagen had an inkling that the area might have an interesting past, so he decided to ask our Curious Louis series: What was Castlewood State Park before it was a park?

That’s how the two of us end up hiking along a gravel path at Castlewood on a blazing hot afternoon. We're making our way along the bluff overlooking the Meramec River when we spot something hidden in plain sight — a moss-covered staircase to nowhere.