Animal Wellness

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​​​​​​​​​​Our vet and animal care staff at Oatland Island Wildlife Center work hard every day to ensure the health and well-being of all our animals. From routine physical and mental evaluations to preventative care they make sure that all the animal residents are healthy, engaging and happy. 

All of our team members are highly trained professionals in animal welfare and handling.

Meet our Animal Care team!

Dr. Lesley Mailer​, Veterinarian & Supervisor of Animal Programs

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Dr. Mailer grew up in Savannah and received undergraduate degrees from Armstrong Atlantic State University and UGA. After graduation, she entered private practice and obtained her wildlife rehabilitators license. After several years, she returned to Savannah and continued in private practice and was the veterinarian of record for Oatland Island. In 2004, she officially joined the staff at Oatland Island, allowing her to persue her dream of practicing wildlife medicine full-time.​

Amanda Michael, Senior Animal Care Technician 

Originally from Redding, Ca, Amanda graduated from Humbolt State University with a BS in Marine Biology & Zoology with a minor in Anthropology. She has loved animals her entire life and grew up in a house always full of previously abandoned pets and wayward strays. Her passion for animals has always been supported by her amazing family. She enjoys working with animals because she fels every living creature deserves compassion and respect and is thankful to be able to provide them with that on a daily basis. She came to Oatland Island in July of 2020 and has a soft spot for all our Wolf Wilderness residents. She hopes that her passion and excitement for animal welfare and conservation will teach and educate future generations.

Chris ​Devane, Animal Care Technician

Chris was born in Winston Salem, North Carolina but raised in Savannah. He attended Benedictine Military School for high school and later Armstrong Atlantic State University and Georgia Southern University for college. After many years of visiting and volunteering at Oatland Island, he joined the staff in December of 2019. He loves working with animals and picking a favorite animal is about as easy as picking your favorite kid. 

Christie Eades, Animal Care Technician

Christie is originally from North Georgia where she attended Kennesaw State University for her Bachelors of Science in Anthropology. For her culminating research project Christie created an anthropological comparative collection for use in forensic investigations as well as educational teaching purposes.

She has interned and volunteered at Zoo Atlanta where she worked with animals ranging in size from meerkats to giraffes. Since 2019 she has also risen to a team lead at Savannah Wildlife Rescue.

Currently Christie is working on her Masters of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries through Clemson. She has visited Oatland for years and is very excited to be apart of the animal care team as of January 2021.

Mechelle ​Hunter, Animal Care Technician


Mechelle was born and raised in Savannah, GA. She got her Associates of Applied Science - Criminal Justice from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2015, but decided that she wanted to pursue her passion for working with animals. Between her grandparents' house in Newington, GA, and hers on Wilmington Island, she grew up with many farm and domestic animals.  Mechelle is a Team Leader at Savannah Wildlife Rescue Center since 2016 and is also a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. She acquired a certificate in Zoo and Aquarium Sciences in 2017. Mechelle became part of our Animal Care Team in November 2019. She has a hard time picking a favorite animal due to all of her experiences at Oatland and Savannah Wildlife Rescue. Some of her favorites include wolves, raccoons, gators, otters, fox, deer, and the farm animals.

Courtney Walker, Animal Care Technician 

 Born and raised in Savannah, Courtney has visited Oatland since elementary school. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in Animal Science. She became involved at Oatland in 2015 as a student volunteer and since joinging the staff in 2020 she likes to spend her time to caring for the animals and sharing her passion of wildlife with others. 

Jessie Westphall​​, Animal Care Technician 

Jessalyn is from North Georgia and moved to Tybee Island in 2008. She completed her high school internship at Oatland and has been involved with Animal Care for many years. Joining the Oatland Island Wildlife Center staff in 2020, she hopes to be able to expand the public’s knowledge of some of our less furry friends living at Oatland.  ​​

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