Each year on July 16, wildlife enthusiasts, educators, and advocates celebrate a special holiday – World Snake Day! The exact origins of this holiday are difficult to know for sure, but the overall messages are clear. Despite facing many of the same threats that affect other wildlife species – habitat loss and degradation, global climate change, human activity, etc. – negative attitudes and misinformed public perceptions often make conservation efforts difficult.
As one of the world’s leading teaching hospitals for wildlife medicine, the Wildlife Center of Virginia has a core mission to teach the world to care about and care for wildlife and the environment. This news page collects stories of the Center’s expertise in action.
During a recent visit to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Radio IQ's Sandy Hausman spoke with several staff members about Bald Eagles in Virginia. Center President Ed Clark and Pubic Affairs Manager Alex Wehrung shared key knowledge on the historic range of wild eagles, their resurgence during recent decades, and the most significant threats they face today.
Click the image below to listen to the full story on Radio IQ's website:
On June 23, the Wildlife Center had an unusually busy morning when 17 Purple Martins from Chesterfield County were admitted in a matter of minutes. The birds were part of a colony in a private citizen's backyard, but the pole carrying their nests came down during a storm, completely destroying all of the colony's nests. The citizen had no replacement homes for the displaced Purple Martins, so they contained the birds in a box and brought them to the Wildlife Center.
On June 17, the Center admitted a juvenile Peregrine Falcon from Richmond, Virginia. The fledgling was found grounded by a restaurant not far from where the Richmond Falcon Cam nest box is located. A Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) biologist responded to the scene and identified the falcon as “yellow”, one of the Peregrine Falcons that recently fledged from the nest box.
The American Eagle Foundation launched American Bald Eagle Day in 1995, and each year on June 20, wildlife enthusiasts take the time to celebrate our national symbol and remember the Bald Eagle's story of conservation success. This year, the Wildlife Center of Virginia is reflecting on the Bald Eagles that have been treated, rehabilitated, and released during our 40-year history.
Being prepared for any eventuality is part of running a busy wildlife hospital. Center staff, and the students who train with them, need to be ready for an unusual patient to come through the door, or, occasionally, for something potentially dangerous. While all wild animals should be treated with caution and respect, hands-on restraint of venomous snakes present additional challenges and risks.
During May 2022 a young Eastern Cottontail was admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in need of care. The veterinary and rehabilitation staff anticipate caring for hundreds of cottontails each year, especially during the spring and summer months, but this specific individual represented an incredible milestone in the Center’s history: it was the 90,000th patient admitted since our founding in 1982!