2019 Year in Review: Cheryl Kirk, Registered Volunteer Transporter

It’s time to look back on 2019! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2019 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

I live too far from WCV to volunteer onsite at a regularly scheduled time, but do make the drive (86 miles one-way) many times during the year as a volunteer transporter, mostly to deliver injured critters for care.

This summer, I transported Eastern Ratsnake #19-2127 to the Center. A homeowner captured the snake, which had swallowed two ceramic eggs in her chicken coop; I transported the snake from the local “triage" vet hospital to the Wildlife Center. During the course of that transport, the snake “self-released" from transport box -- but thankfully, I only discovered this after reaching the Wildlife Center (or I would have been the next patient!!!). [Fortunately, Maggie came to the rescue!]

The eggs were surgically removed the day after transport and, after a period of healing, I was able to return the healed Eastern Ratsnake and two ceramic eggs to the homeowner, who had discovered the snake with a “bulging belly”. Another success story for WCV and the snake in question.

The teaching moment in this transport was in learning the proper way to transport a snake: secured in a pillowcase (whether tied or taped), not just in a box, where the snake could squeeze out ... even when listed as lethargic on original vet intake sheet.  The box holding the snake could have been secured in a pillowcase or the snake could have been transported simply in a tied or taped pillowcase.  My transport bag now includes a couple of pillowcases. Never know when they may come in handy.

Now the question is ... will this post draw more transport volunteers to WCV ... or run some away???  I’m not a fan of snakes and would never hold one, but volunteered for these transports. Always willing to help wildlife in some small way!

-- Cheryl, Volunteer Transporter

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

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