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Meet Mollie Hogan of The Nature of Wildworks in Topanga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mollie Hogan.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mollie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The Nature of Wildworks (Wildworks) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1997 with a two-fold mission: To provide inspiring educational live wildlife programs for children and youth to enhance their understanding of animals and nature while also ensuring lifelong quality care for non-releasable wild animals.

I formed this organization in response to a need resulting from the cancellation of an indigenous wildlife presentation at the Los Angeles Zoo. I was a keeper at the time and I was attached to the animals that I had raised and was determined to provide a home for them. Some 30 displaced animals including mountain lions, bobcats, wolves, foxes and raptors were relocated to the Wildworks’ Topanga facility. Our center currently houses non-releasable wild birds, mammals and reptiles, representing 34 species most of which are native to Southern California. The educational focus of Wildworks has been outreach programs which extend throughout Los Angeles and Ventura school districts.

Has it been a smooth road?
I had no idea how I was going to do it. As a zookeeper I knew the animals really well but I had no knowledge of business or fundraising. I didn’t even know or how to construct an enclosure properly. But I was determined and over a couple of years period of time, I was able to move the animals to my backyard in Topanga.

For several years I continued to work at the zoo while scraping by on my paycheck and taking care of my animals when I got home from my 8 hours a day zoo-keeping job. In 1999 I finally decided to leave the Zoo and work full-time on my facility that had a small group of volunteers helping out.

When caring for wildlife, there is never a dull moment but the struggles in the beginning taught me so much and things have improved tremendously and many more animals have arrived to make Wildworks their permanent home…

We’d love to hear more about your organization.
We provide lifelong care for animals which I feel is very important for the well-being of the animals. Our specialty is wildlife education with a focus on urban wildlife. We have provided 1000’s of programs for children and adults throughout Southern California for over 20 years.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
BIG CHANGES We are moving our facility to Sedona AZ where we have purchased an 8-acre property to provide care for more animals and much-needed wildlife education for the Verde Valley

Pricing:

  • We are a non-profit organization and rely on donations from the public Donations can be made through PayPal on our website natureofwildworks.org
  • We currently offer themed Zoom programs featuring our wild birds and mammals. $250 for one-half hour

Contact Info:

  • Website: natureofwildworks.org
  • Phone: 18186344767
  • Email: mollie@natureofwildworks.org
  • Instagram: natureofwildworks
  • Facebook: The Nature of Wildworks

Image Credit:
Terry Matkins

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