all creatures great + small = hatteras island wildlife rehab
Turtles and possums and ospreys, oh my! Lou Browning has taken many career paths, his latest hobby-turned-full-time job is rehabbing injured and sick birds and other animals. The stories told at his Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation center are equally heartwarming and heartbreaking, as Lou brings his skills to bear on the orphaned and wounded wildlife of the OBX. The difficulties and rewards of his choice are told in this story from Jordan Tomberlin that first appeared in the Island Free Press and was reprinted by the Coastal Review Online.
“He is an engineer, an artist, a nature enthusiast and a scientist. He has worked as a commercial fisherman, a diver for the N.C. Aquarium, a sculptor and a co-owner of Browning Artworks, a gallery he owned and operated for 20 years with his artist wife, Linda.
And about 10 years ago, he added wildlife rehabilitator to his repertoire.
Browning began the process by getting a state permit that allowed him to work with small mammals, reptiles and non-migratory birds — working with migratory birds requires a federal permit.
He worked under that permit for a while, honing his skills and expanding his knowledge of the animals and the process of rehabilitation.
But, since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers all bird species indigenous to the United States as migratory, the state permit left Browning legally unable to work with the majority of avian islanders.”