Lisa Bates, Founder and Executive Director of Tucson Wildlife Center, and Diana Madaras, artist, are kindred spirits who were destined to come together. Both these women began rescuing wildlife at age 5 or 6—Lisa in Tucson in her backyard, and Diana in New Jersey at her father’s veterinary hospital. At a very early age, both formed a deep bond with animals and understood the need to help these beings who were desperately trying to survive.
The Tucson Wildlife Center, now 23 years old, is a survivor, as well. Eleven other wildlife rescue centers have closed in the past few years pressuring TWC to increase its intake by 400%. Where they served 1500 animals 4 years ago, they now expect 6,000—and all care is funded by private donations.
In this presentation, Lisa will share behind-the-scenes stories from Tucson Wildlife Center and simulate a bobcat rescue. Diana will share how she and a goose named Lucy helped Tucson Wildlife Center survive during a critical time and raised enough money to eventually hire a full-time veterinarian for the center. You will walk away from this program with a deeper understanding of our relationship to wildlife and how we can each make a difference with relatively little effort.
The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi
Lisa Bates ~ Biography
Lisa Bates cared for injured and orphaned wildlife beginning at age 6, and even had a pet javelina who slept in her bedroom when she was a kid. In 1998, she founded Tucson Wildlife Center in her own backyard in Tucson and eventually donated her property to the Center. In the past 23 years, she has succeeded in building a state-of-the art hospital on the grounds, as well as 3 huge flight enclosures to rehab eagles, hawks and owls. The Tucson Wildlife Center rescues everything from lizards, to bobcats and javelinas. The Sertoma Club awarded her its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Diana Madaras ~ Biography
Diana Madaras grew up in an apartment attached to her fathers’ veterinary hospital in New Jersey and at a very early age was tasked with caring for the wild animals people dropped off at the hospital. In 1999, in conjunction with opening Madaras Gallery, she formed the non-profit Art for Animals Foundation. She has raised more than $200,000 for the foundation. The Tucson Rotary Club awarded her its 4-way award in 2000 and Diana has also been named Arthritis Foundation Philanthropist of the Year. She was named New Beginnings Woman of the Year and received the Copper Cactus Award for Community Service. In 2018, Tucson Wildlife Center named her their Honoree at the annual Benefit Dinner.
So, when the Tucson Wildlife Center came under duress due to a huge increase in animal intake, Lisa came to Diana asking for help.
The rest is history…