Upon entering the wildlife rehabilitation externship program at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, I could only fathom the crazy adventure on which I was about to embark.
Wildlife Center of Virginia Blog
I never thought that I’d work hands-on with wildlife the way that I was able to at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, and I am so incredibly grateful that I got to live the dream.
When I was offered this externship opportunity with the Wildlife Center of Virginia, I knew I couldn’t turn it down, even though it was on the other side of the country. WCV is such a renowned institution and one of the best places to learn and get hands-on experience with wildlife, and I have not been disappointed.
Smooth baby fur, eyes still closed, and tiny paws latching onto everything. No bigger than the palm of my hand and reaching out in hunger and curiosity.
Everyone has an experience in their life where they say it was the best experience they had and would not trade it for the world. This is exactly how I feel after my externship with the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV).
I have known ever since I was a kid that working with wildlife was something that I had to do when I grew up. I came to an open house at the Wildlife Center of Virginia six or seven years ago and I remember leaving and thinking, “I want to do something like this every day of my life.”
… And just as crazy and wonderfully as it began, my externship at the Wildlife Center has ended. It is hard for me to believe the vast amount of experience and knowledge I have gained in just eight short weeks.
I am very thankful to have been part of the rehabilitation externship program at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Overall, my externship was everything I imagined and more.
My first experience with the Wildlife Center of Virginia was when I was in fifth-grade, and staff members from the WCV presented a program at Camp Albemarle. We were shown several animals from the Wildlife Center and we were told the stories of how they came to live at the Center. At the end of the presentation we were given an owl pellet for dissection. I was hooked.
I began my eight-week rehabilitation externship with the Wildlife Center of Virginia on May 16, and what a journey it has been! In just two months I have learned how to prepare songbird meals, exercise raptors, tube-feed opossums, and bottle-feed fawns. When asked to write this blog I had about a hundred ideas pop into my head. How can you choose just one?! Then on July 7, two fledgling Ospreys from Smith Mountain Lake State Park came through the Center’s doors.