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The Land & Our Team

Our Philosophy & Mission

Most wildlife encounter human habitation every day. This coupled with their own habitats decreasing can often mean that they have nowhere to go. Our mission is to educate others to live symbiotically with their local wildlife. CWCC’s constant dedication to wildlife inspires others to help preserve our planet’s animals and to have a voice to save our wildlife and wild places.

The Carolina Wildlife Conservation Center mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured, orphaned and ill wildlife, while educating humans on how to live symbiotically with our backyard wildlife.

The Nature Preserve

CWCC is located on 105 acres of ecologically diverse land. The land is called “Wildplaces” after the quote, “May there always be wild places” by wildlife photographer and conservationist, Thomas Mangelsen. The National Wildlife Federation has awarded the land the status of “a certified wildlife habitat.”


This means that the land provides abundant food, water, cover, and places to raise wildlife. Charlotte is growing exponentially as an urban city and the wildlife is feeling the impact. With an increase negative wildlife encounters in human habitation, we are proud to have 105 acres of safe sanctuary forever for our wildlife. Our future goal is to have hundreds of acres in conservation land for wildlife to be save and free forever.

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One of our three ponds.


The ponds are used for turtle release, wildlife habitat, and beaver/otter swim lessons.

Our Team


Founder & Executive Director

Morgan Rafael is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Morgan uses her skills from her background in veterinary technology and zoo medicine to give the most innovative care to her patients. She has traveled around the world doing wildlife rehabilitation including to Africa where she worked with orphaned rhinos.  


Morgan has a fiery passion for educating others on how to live symbiotically with the wildlife in our backyards. She has big dreams for Carolina Wildlife Conservation Center and the lasting impact it willl make on wildlife and the environment for generations to come. 

Wildlife Rehabilitator

Rachel Cerjan is a biologist that has experience with a variety of different animals and plant life from analyzing phytoplankton to conservation studies in Africa. Rachel has learned a lot about wildlife throughout her education and work and is now applying that knowledge to wildlife rehabilitation.

She obtained her Master’s Degree in biology researching bees and has a passion for all animals big and small. She is currently working with Morgan and Ruby as a mentee to become a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. 

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Donor Relations

Logan Ronk is well versed in the nonprofit sector with a degree in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University - go Hoosiers! While not afraid to get her hands dirty with animal rehabilitation, she prefers to focus on donor engagement and fundraising development.


Carolina Wildlife constantly restores Logan’s faith in humanity as animal lovers come together for the greater good. Rescue dogs, rhinos, and raccoons bring an instant smile to her face. She wishes everyone could experience the love of a bully breed!

Home Based Wildlife Rehabilitator & Hotline Supervisor

Carolyn Festa is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator with over ten years of experience and a lifelong appreciation for nature. She enjoys learning about the animals she cares for and constantly seeks to improve her skills by attending advanced classes in wildlife rehabilitation.


Carolyn specializes in the care of newborn orphaned wildlife which require around the clock care and extra attention managing hydration, formula concentration and medication. Carolyn likes to share her passion with others and enjoys teaching species specific natural history and mentoring other rehabilitators.

Carolyn is also an avid gardener who has transformed her yard and garden to grow food for animals undergoing treatment, as well as to provide habitat for her favorite birds, insects, and animal species.  In the spirit of conservation, her garden features a large milkweed patch to feed the larval stage of the monarch butterfly.


Carolyn is based out of her home in Sherrills Ford, NC. She often visits the center bringing fresh vegetables and flowers. 

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