St. Francis Wildlife lost a friend and ‘angel’ in Teresa Stevenson

Teresa Stevenson, beak to beak, with Rudy, St.  Francis Wildlife's disabled Red-shouldered Hawk wildlife ambassador.

Some people leave an impression on you. Some people change lives, although it’s not their intention. Teresa Stevenson, who served as director and wildlife rehabilitator at St. Francis Wildlife, our local wildlife rehabilitation center, was one of these people.

A virtual memorial service for Stevenson, who died unexpectedly in October, is being held Monday at

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When Teresa Stevenson entered a room, there was a noticeable shift. Colors changed. Smiles appeared, on both human and non-human faces.

She generously shared her vast knowledge of wildlife rehabilitation with St. Francis staff and volunteers, teaching quietly, by example and with humor.

Teresa Stevenson with an orphaned baby river otter at St.  Francis Wildlife.

You watched her, listened to her and wanted to do better, to be better. You wanted to care more, work harder, laugh more, hug bigger, and be a kinder, more compassionate person. Because Teresa Stevenson inspired all of this.

Love for all creatures

Teresa had two speeds, overdrive and sleep. In constant motion — cleaning cages, feeding orphaned baby birds, climbing a tree to reunite a nestling owl with its mother, hiking deep into the forest to find the safest place to release two baby raccoons, paddling her kayak out to rescue an injured gull, gently wrapping fractured wings, patching broken shells, and tenderly healing thousands of creatures, great and small. All without ever thinking that what she was doing was unusual or remarkable.

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