It’s time to look back on 2022! Check our blog between Christmas and New Year’s for a variety of stories and memories of 2022 from the staff and volunteers of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
On August 12, Dr. Karra and a small group of Wildlife Center staff released Bald Eagles #22-0980 and #22-1462 at Lake Anna State Park for a sizable crowd -- about 150 members of the public were in attendance!
By August of this year, I had been working at the Wildlife Center for 1.5 years and had been unable to make it to one of our legendary eagle releases. So, when Dr. Karra asked if I would like to join her, I did not hesitate to say yes! The morning of the release, we loaded up the van with two eagles and hit the road to Lake Anna State Park. (If you get the chance, I highly recommend a road trip with Dr. Karra. You will not be disappointed.)
Earlier in the summer, we admitted two juvenile Bald Eagles. Patient #22-0980 was rescued from Lake Anna State Park while #22-1462 was admitted to the Wildlife Center from Virginia Beach. Both young eagles were found to be lethargic and in need of medical attention. The vet and rehab team did a wonderful job in caring for these eagles and preparing them for release. Once cleared for release, a unique double eagle release was planned for August 12th at Lake Anna State Park.
The Wildlife Center has released eagles at this park before, but this was a first for both Dr. Karra and myself. As we pulled into the parking lot right on the lake’s edge, it became clear that this was a perfect spot for the eagle release. While we were sure to arrive early, there were many spectators already waiting with their cameras and binoculars ready to go. Once we were ready to begin, Dr. Karra and Randy helped gather the crowd in a large semi-circle in preparation for the release. Now the time had come.
I pulled the van around so we wouldn’t have to carry the heavy eagle crates too far to the grassy area. We carried the first crated eagle through the crowd, placed it down at the top of the semi-circle, and then brought the second.
From past videos and stories, I expected the crate door to open and the eagle to rush right out. However, this was not the case. #22-0980 was a bit hesitant to exit, but once out, it was the perfect release. This eagle took quite a few slow and beautiful circles around the park and out over the lake before landing in a nearby tree. Now it was time for #22-1462, and this eagle was ready to go. As soon as the crate door opened, it soared out over the lake before disappearing into the trees.
This was a truly memorable experience -- that I was grateful to take part in.
-- Amber Buck, Office Manager