Carter Co. couple runs rare deer rehab center

Carter Co. couple runs rare deer rehab center

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The Wynns keep this center running on their own time and money. They say the need for other facilities like this one is growing and this is a thankless job, but it's worth it when wildlife goes back where it belongs. The Wynns keep this center running on their own time and money. They say the need for other facilities like this one is growing and this is a thankless job, but it's worth it when wildlife goes back where it belongs.
Running the Wynn Wood Wildlife Center is truly a labor of love. Keith and Geri Wynn do just about everything here, from surgeries to helping an animal readjust in a natural habitat. Running the Wynn Wood Wildlife Center is truly a labor of love. Keith and Geri Wynn do just about everything here, from surgeries to helping an animal readjust in a natural habitat.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

ELIZABETHTON (WATE) - The process to become a TWRA licensed rehab facility is long and involved. There are only six facilities that specialize in deer in the entire state of Tennessee.

A couple in Carter county has done both.

Running the Wynn Wood Wildlife Center is truly a labor of love. Keith and Geri Wynn do just about everything here, from surgeries to helping an animal readjust in a natural habitat.

"It's very important to keep these animals wild and if they're not wild to get them wild. It could be a matter of life and death for the animals even people," said Keith Wynn.

A job like this takes some training. The Wynns are registered by the state and inspected by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The requirements are tough to get all of the permits.

"You have to have 200 hours of hands on training with another licensed officer, there are two classes you have to go through the wildlife programs that they have," added Geri Wynn.

Those are just to name a few requirements. What really makes the Wynn Wood Wildlife Center rare in East Tennessee is that it can rehabilitate fawn.

The Wynns say the cost alone to rehab deer is why there are so few. The shelter is several acres wide and screened so there's no contact with people.

"They have to have a support building which you can feed through so once they're able to take a bottle on their own you can feed them through a slot and they don't have any contact with you so they can stay wild," added Geri.

The Wynns keep this center running on their own time and money. They say the need for other facilities like this one is growing and this is a thankless job, but it's worth it when wildlife goes back where it belongs.

"Sometimes it looks like they're looking back at you and saying thanks a lot," said Keith.

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