It’s time to look back on 2021! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2021 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
Since 2021 was my baptismal year at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, the promise of what lies ahead is more at the forefront of my mind than the handful of months that I leave behind. Even so, my relatively short time here has given me the chance to experience things I would not have thought to imagine a year ago. It marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life.
During my first few weeks of training at the Center, I was able to shadow the veterinary and rehabilitation teams to get a better sense of their day-to-day. I witnessed a small songbird being anesthetized for radiographs, collected owl pellets from underneath the judgmental glare of Papa G’Ho, served dinner to a very impatient Red-tailed Hawk, and unboxed a turtle so that it could receive fluids. These are all things that constitute an average workday at the Wildlife Center.
I was then asked to medicate an adult Bald Eagle, placing a pill past its glottis and down its throat. This was a surreal moment, and I will forever look back at this instance as the true beginning of my newly found and cherished career path—the experience that separates the before and the after. Before this moment, I knew I loved observing and identifying animals in the wild. Afterward, I knew that I wanted to center my life and work around this latent passion. I have the ultimate respect for this eagle and all of our patients who allow us to educate ourselves and become better stewards of this earth through their pain and misfortune.
I know that by this time next year I will have a wealth of treasured moments—probably far too many to choose from. But, I relish the opportunity to share these truly unique, profound experiences with my friends, family, and all of the supporters of the Wildlife Center of Virginia for years to come. Merry Christmas!
-- Michael Adkins, Front-desk Coordinator