It’s time to look back on 2013! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2013 from the staff, students, and volunteers of the Wildlife Center.
There are many things I love about working at the Wildlife Center – every day is a little different (and usually exciting) and we have a wonderful team that does amazing things to help wildlife, directly and indirectly.
That team doesn’t just include the 19 staff members who spend their days in the office and hospital here at the Center. We also have 22 education animals that have the equally important job of teaching people each day.
These animals serve as ambassadors for their species and our conservation efforts, and their stories illustrate important lessons about how humans interact with wildlife. Identifying with an individual animal makes it much easier for people to appreciate wildlife and feel the motivation and empowerment necessary to make a difference in wildlife conservation.
Working with these animals is incredibly rewarding and inspiring – more so than I could have ever imagined.
I can think of many examples of the impact our education animals have had on the thousands of children and adults they have reached in 2013. But to name just a few…
I remember watching as 200 second graders cheered and applauded for Buddy the Bald Eagle as he attended his first school public program. Most children had never seen a Bald Eagle up close, and Buddy had certainly never seen that many children at one time!
I remember the little girl that came up to me after a program and said she wanted to thank Edie [the American Kestrel] for teaching her not to take care of baby birds on her own. She didn’t know that taking care of these animals could hurt them, and Edie helped her to learn an important lesson.
I remember the girl who loved opossums so much that she asked for an opossum-themed birthday party with Bert and Ernie.
And I remember hundreds of people pledging to make “the turtle promise” during our Wildlife Center Classroom Series about turtles, in honor of Wilson, our Eastern Box Turtle.
It’s so wonderful having both human and animal co-workers, and I look forward to another year with them all!
Keep checking the Wildlife Center's blog for more year-end posts this week!