Wildlife rescue group drops plan to open center on North Fork

The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays is giving up on plans to expand into Jamesport and will instead concentrate on trying to upgrade the Hampton Bays site, according to founder Ginnie Frati.

The nonprofit had hoped to restore a house built in the 1780s and develop other existing buildings on a 24-acre parcel as a supplementary rescue center.

The land, on the south side of Main Road in Aquebogue, across from Tuthills Lane, was being offered to the Rescue Center by owner Leslie Alexander, a philanthropist and former owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

On Tuesday, Ms. Frati issued a press release saying: “After extensive conversations with the donor of the property, Mr. Alexander, our executive board, our honorary board, Riverhead Town, the County of Suffolk and the Greater Jamesport community, to all of whom we are extremely grateful, the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center is unable to expand operations to the North Fork, and will instead work with the Suffolk County Legislature and parks department to accommodate our needs at our current location in Munns Pond County Park, Hampton Bays.”

Ms. Frati said the rescue center is approaching its 20th year in operation. “We are looking forward to improving and expanding our existing Munns Pond location to better care for the nearly 2,000 injured wild animals we treat annually … We want to especially thank Mr. Alexander for his generous offer.”

The Hampton Bays location is leased from Suffolk County. The group had planned to remain there while expanding to the North Fork, to supplement its efforts. 

Mr. Alexander offered the property and additional funds to cover the cost of establishing the facility there.