Be Remarkable: A&M student is the area’s only state licensed wildlife rehabilitator

Krista Bligh runs a non-profit organization in Brazos County called Paws and Claws Wildlife Rehabilitation and with the help of a handful of volunteers, she takes in animals from across the area and attempts to nurse them back to health.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 7:57 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - In the Bryan-College Station area there is only one state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator who takes in injured wildlife and she’s a 20-year-old student at Texas A&M University.

Krista Bligh runs a non-profit organization in Brazos County called Paws and Claws Wildlife Rehabilitation and with the help of a handful of volunteers, she takes in animals from across the area and attempts to nurse them back to health.

“Our sole goal is to release them back into the wild, so nothing really stays with us. Usually, when I’m receiving the animal, they’re almost half dead,” said Bligh.

However, there are many animals that come in that do have a fighting chance including owls, turtles, skunks, raccoons, kites, prairie dogs, fawns, possums, roadrunners, and more.

“Right now I do this all as a non-profit so all donations pretty much go completely to wildlife and even that is a struggle to cover sometimes,” said Bligh who is still an undergrad at Texas A&M University.

She’s on track to graduate in December with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and is hoping to get into A&M’s vet school. Her career goal is to one day be a wildlife vet and open a bigger center to do the kind of emergency and rehab care she’s currently providing for a wide range of animals.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE AMAZON WISHLIST FOR PAWS AND CLAWS WILDLIFE REHABILITATION

For now, she’s working around the clock juggling the life-saving time she spends with the animals and her school work.

“Yeah, in the spring, a lot of times I wake up at six a.m. and don’t get to bed until 3 a.m. and I usually take summer classes. I’m always busy with the volunteer work not only here but other groups that I help with also like Aggieland Pets with a Purpose,” she said.

Bligh credits her mother, Donna, for much of her training and knowledge and for getting a jump-start on this early on in her life.

She says the worst part of her job is sometimes having to decide when an animal is suffering too much and needs to be euthanized. The most rewarding moments come when one of them is ready to be let back out into the wild.

“It’s the best feeling ever because you’ve worked so hard with that animal, you spent so much time and hours and everything into that animal, and then you get to see it happy and back into the wild, and they generally really thrive,” said Bligh.

KBTX and Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers are proud to present Krista with this week’s Be Remarkable award!

If you have someone you want to nominate for our Be Remarkable campaign click here! Be Remarkable airs on News 3 at 6 p.m. every other Monday and is proudly sponsored and made possible by Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers.