Wildlife Center of Virginia Blog
Having worked in ecological field and lab research for the past few years, I didn't think wildlife rehabilitation would be too much of a deviation from my previous work. I was looking to try something slower-paced that was more hands-on and personal than the research projects I had been a part of previously, and wildlife rehab seemed right up that alley. I had no idea how much my externship would consistently exceed those expectations.
Spring has sprung at WCV (even though the weather hasn’t quite caught up) – there is an influx of baby squirrels, bunnies, opossums, etc. In the midst of our baby mania, I had the opportunity to participate in the release of our 2017 Black Bear cubs.
Have you ever noticed that almost every picture you see of a WCV staff member, volunteer, or student treating or handling an animal, we are almost always wearing gloves? Have you ever wondered why that is? Maybe it’s because we all have gnarly fingernails that we’re trying to keep hidden. Maybe it’s because we enjoy the great art of miming in between patient treatments. Maybe it’s because we’re all avid Michael Jackson fans. Maybe it’s all of the above (I must admit, I do love a good MJ classic hit).
Lead toxicity is a significant cause of admission for Bald Eagles at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Eagles and other avian scavengers ingest lead as they scavenge the carcasses or remains of animals left in the field by hunters.
As a part of our “Where Are They Now?” series, we had an e-interview with Dr. Madis Leivits, who was our Intern for Veterinary Diagnostics in 2009 – 2010.
Q: What have you done professionally since leaving the Wildlife Center?
Since I changed positions at my elementary school and became a librarian, I found that I am able to reach many more students about caring for wildlife. Anytime anyone on campus sees wildlife, they come to me (or Miss Christina, our secretary). In the spring of 2017, we rescued two Eared Grebes that became stranded on the ground. Both were released. We also had a bunny that managed to ‘self-release’ in our school office after it was taken from a student. The bunny was eventually caught and released outside as well. And since school started in August 2017, it’s been a rattlesnake and a
I believe that before getting yourself into something, you should ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing ... and think about how it relates to the big picture. That is why I have had a few ideological concerns about wildlife rehabilitation and whether it disrupts nature’s natural process and evolution. During my rehabilitation externship period, I have clarified my thoughts as to justify the benefits of wildlife rehabilitation.
Vultures are disgusting creatures that have naked heads and eat dead things. At least, this is what most people believe, including myself before I started working at the Wildlife Center during my rehabilitation externship. At the Center, I learned more about vultures and how they help society and I earned a deep appreciation for their role in the environment. I also had the opportunity to work one-on-one with these interesting creatures and found that they are not the gross death eaters that I thought they were.
Before arriving at the Wildlife Center of Virgina for my rehabilitation externship, I had many preconceived notions about what my favorite species to work with would be. I was most excited to work with orphaned mammals and least excited to work with raptors. Little did I know, in just 12 short weeks, raptors would become some of my favorite patients.