Name: Colleen Grzan
City: Morgan Hill
Previous career: A short stint as a real estate office manager after college, then the next 25 years at various Silicon Valley electronics firms.
Second act: Director of animal care at the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center, or W.E.R.C., in Morgan Hill.
How did you get involved in wildlife care? "I decided to look into things I've always wanted to do but never had the time. All my life, I loved pets and wildlife and the environment, so I began volunteering at W.E.R.C. Feeding the animals, cleaning up their enclosures, learning how to handle the critters -- it was the most fun I'd had in ages. Within several months, I was asked to become an employee, and here I still am after more than 10 years. I'm constantly learning new things on the job and by attending wildlife rehabilitation symposiums. I'm proud and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the W.E.R.C. team."
What's your job like now? "I bottle-feed young kittens and bring rodents to the older ones. I spend quality time playing -- not peek-a-boo, but favorite bobcat games like 'chase the mouse' and 'attack the twig' that help train the bobcats to hunt prey in the wild. To make myself as unlike a human as humanly possible, I transform myself and become a feline 'mommy' -- suiting up in a full-body costume that has been deodorized with bobcat urine, placing a big, furry bobcat mask on my head, making no sounds and 'walking' on my hands and knees. Who would have thought a change of career could involve changing species?"
-- Angela Hill, Staff