14. October 2010 · Comments Off on A letter to the San Francisco Chronicle · Categories: Uncategorized

Dear S.F. Chronicle,

On October 12th 2010 you printed an article about the Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue & Education Center and our current eviction woes.
I am the director of Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue, Lila Travis, and I would like to make a request for a printed correction.

In the article entitled: “Yggdrasil wildlife center hopes for rescue” the following sentence was printed and the result has done some real damage to our struggling 501c3 non-profit organization.

“The Travises, who live on donations and grants given to the nonprofit wildlife center,…”

This statement is not only completely untrue, it has damaged the reputation of our 501c3 nonprofit organization, as well as the reputations of my husband and I.
Our wildlife center has received hate mail as well as requests for the return of recent donations made to save our wildlife center from donors who are under the mistaken impression, gotten from your article, that their money went towards living expenses for “the Travises” instead of towards the actual life-saving work we do here at our wildlife rehabilitation and education center.

The article was written by Carolyn Jones, a reporter we have read and respected for years. We have worked with Carolyn in the past and have found her to be a good reporter. She showed her integrity by responding to our inquiry about this major mistake with a sincere apology and correction to her online article. We appreciate her apology and that she corrected her mistake online, but the printed article is out there and the damage has been done.
We are requesting a printed correction be made so we can show it to those who have lost faith in our organization because of your article.

The Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue & Education Center, in Oakland, CA, is 100% volunteer-run and donation-funded.
Neither Richard nor Lila Travis have ever received any compensation for the 70-80 hours/week they each volunteer. Nor have they ever received any salary or benefited in any way from contributions made to our 501c3 nonprofit organization, other than the supreme benefit of seeing money put to good use in restoring precious living beings to their birthright in the wild.

We would have liked to have been given the opportunity to respond to the allegations in the article of “squatting” and “not paying rent” and having the house “overrun with animals“. Had we been given the opportunity to respond,  we would happily have shown proof that the rent has been paid in full every month for the last 6 years and continues to be, even though we are in the middle of a legal case against the landlady which has frozen all rent increases until it is resolved. Had we been given a chance to respond, we would have happily shown that there are no animals at all in the main house where we live, except our cat – not because of the wishes of the landlady but because we have a 2 year old child whom we keep separated from the wildlife animals for his protection. We would also have shown the numerous contracts and statements signed by Andrea Wood, the owner of this property, giving permission for squirrels, raccoons, baby deer, and other wildlife animals to be cared for on this property (including inside the main house).

We appreciate the S.F. Chronicle’s interest in our wildlife center’s work and we hope it continues in the future.
We truly thank you for highlighting the struggle our wildlife center is currently undergoing.
However, we really need your help in correcting the wrong impression that our wildlife center is run by human leeches, sucking away funds lovingly given for the welfare of the animals.

Thank you,


Lila Travis

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