Dane County Humane Society uses invasive species to help wildlif - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Dane County Humane Society uses invasive species to help wildlife patients

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County wildlife officials have found a unique way to get some use out an invasive species.

As people bring their boats in for the winter season, volunteers with the Dane County Humane Society's Wildlife Center are asking anyone scraping Zebra Mussels off their boats, to bag them up for some hungry wildlife.

"They're brought in and usually collected...and frozen so we can take them out at times to feed to our wildlife animal patients," said wildlife rehabilitation training coordinator Jacqueline Sandburg. "[We feed them to] usually turtles, a lot of diving aquatic ducks that we might get in."

The idea to use the invasive mussels for food came along a year ago when a volunteer who had scrapped them off their boat brought them to the shelter.

"At the time we had a common map turtle...and we realized mussels were apart of their diet and she was a little lethargic and didn't want to eat," said Sandburg. "The second we put Zebra Mussels in front of her she got super excited and was tearing them apart."

The mussels are classified as a restricted species and transporting them is not allowed without a permit unless it is for disposal, education or food.

Anyone interested in donating their mussels can contact the Wildlife Center at (608) 287-3235.  

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