2012 Year in Review: MVK, Volunteer Moderator

Last year, many of our staff, students, and volunteers recounted their most memorable moments of 2011. We had so much fun reading and sharing these stories, we thought we’d do it again! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2012 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center.

One of my favorite memories of 2012 at the Wildlife Center of Virginia involved those beautiful Black Bears. The ones hit by cars; those found wandering, half-starved; the one with the not-so-perfect leg; the one found running with dogs and wearing a dog collar – all without the help of WCV, would have surely met an early death. One by one, they made their way to the Center, where they were greeted with open arms by those who care. Watching them on cam brought so many into the world of Black Bears and the chance to learn so much. Who would have guessed that bears, not related, would get along so well – young ones, older ones, and some in-between. 

We watched as they discovered their new surroundings, the magic food chute, and the earth walkers who came in and rearranged their living quarters, leaving special treats for them. We watched as they would drag blankets around, jumped, played and ran after each other, and oh yes – their fascination with tubs and how they would dump out the water, lounge around in the tub, turn it over on themselves and their roomies, put it on their head and try to scare each other while we watched, learned, and fell in love with each one of them. Yes, we are not to humanize or name the critters in the care of the Center, but no one said we could not open our hearts to these beautiful, often misunderstood wild creatures. The big day came when they were loaded up and taken to be returned to live free, as they were meant to do. We watched as they opened the containers and they took off – in all directions – knowing exactly what they were supposed to do. What a success story to know that six beautiful bears were given a second chance to live out their lives as wild bears. 

There was one left and because of humans, not able to be released back into the wild. A sad day, but perhaps much better than if he had not been taken in. A place was found for him to live out his life in a setting where he would have other bears, waterfalls and a place to swim, and never have to go hungry. While not the ideal ending for this little bear, it was the best that could be done to try and right the wrong done to him at such an early age. 

It is easy to fall in love with all the creatures we are privileged to observe and learn about, to open our hearts and do what we can to give them a second chance, however, we must always remember to keep the WILD in wildlife. Love from a distance and spread the word and help educate others so that they will always be able to roam our world as they should – FREE.


Keep checking the Wildlife Center's blog for more year-end posts this week!

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