2017 Year in Review: Peg Leinbach, Volunteer

It’s time to look back on 2017! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2017 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

One fine Saturday in June, outreach coordinator Raina, fellow outreach volunteer Shelly, and I set out to attend the Grace Farm Tour in Keswick, Virginia, with three of our education ambassadors: Alex the Eastern Screech-owl; Wilson, our charismatic Box Turtle, and Grayson the Broad-winged Hawk. At one point during our day-long exhibit, I offered Wilson the opportunity to stretch his legs by taking a walk in the grass around our tent. All of a sudden, Wilson broke into a super-fast run and headed toward a car that had parked not too far away. A couple with their small black dachshund had stepped out of their car and Wilson was headed straight for the dog. He literally turned into an attack turtle!

I quickly picked up Wilson as the dog was also scooped up by the owner. We laughed about Wilson’s behavior and decided to have the dog owner and the dog head in an entirely different direction. After they were about 25 feet away, I put Wilson down to continue his walk and he immediately turned toward the dog and start to chase it once again! At this point, the dog’s owner had an idea that might explain Wilson’s behavior. We suspect that Wilson was someone’s pet before he was turned loose; perhaps the original owners had a similar dog who had become best friends with Wilson. We will never know. Now, the dog’s owner asked where I would like Wilson to go. I indicated it was time to head back to the tent so the man and dog led the way with Wilson in hot pursuit. Never in a million years would I have thought that a box turtle could run that fast!


Check out all of our year-in-review posts!