Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Virginia Wildlife Center

Olivia’s hearts desire is to be a veterinarian.  She loves anything that involves animals, so I try to give her as many opportunities to be exposed to animals as possible.   The Virginia Wildlife Center is a great opportunity to learn about caring for wildlife, and they open their facilities up in spring and fall for open houses to the public.  They also schedule field trips for groups and travel to schools as well.

The staff does a 30 minute presentation, during which you get to meet one of their educational animals (an animal who is unable to be returned to the wild for various reasons).   This time, we met Pignoli, a red screech owl.

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During an open house, you get a guided tour of the facility (including the x-ray room, operating room (from outside the glass viewing window) and evaluation/treatment rooms, kitchen and a tour of the outdoor facilities and animals that will not be able to go back into the wild.

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Baby animals, and animals and adult animals who are being rehabilitated for release are not open for display as the amount of human contact is VERY limited so as not to endanger the animals when they are released.

Below is Buddy the bald eagle.  He suffered from avian pox and a large lesion on his beak caused the beak to become severely damaged.  He cannot be released because he wouldn’t be able to feed himself due to the beak condition.

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We also picked up a list of how kids can help the center.  One of the ways is by supplying the center with native nuts in the shell (acorn, hickory, walnuts).  So we’ll be heading out in the upcoming weeks collecting food for the critters.

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