Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving Day at the Wildlife Center, and we have a lot to be thankful for this year! Today marks a week since the Center was hit by a severe storm on November 15; there was significant damage to the property and our outbuildings, and we lost power for three full days! But the staff, students, and volunteers rallied together and made sure all the animals (both patients and education ambassadors) were safe.

We're thankful for the outpouring of support from our community – from the local veterinarians and rehabilitators who took in our patients while we had no power, to the supporters who rushed to send donations our way so we can begin repairs to our facilities.

We've had an unusually chaotic week, and we're thankful for the team of staff and students who are dedicating part of their holiday to caring for and feeding the animals at the Wildlife Center.

Like many other Americans, the Wildlife Center staff are preparing Thanksgiving dinner today – it’s a guest list of 71 (27 education animals and 44 patients). Rehabilitator Brie and extern students Kelly, Marley, and Shannon will be busily catering to the dozens of birds, mammals, and reptiles that are at the Center right now.

Preparing meals for 25 different species makes things a little more complicated than your typical Thanksgiving dinner! Turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce aren't on the Wildlife Center menus – instead of a traditional family-style Thanksgiving meal, the Wildlife Center crew will make dozens of species-specific diets, which cater to each species' needs and each patient's particular desires.

Some of these meals are easy to prepare – for example, our raptor patients and education animals will feast on mice, chicks, or rats for dinner.

Our omnivorous guests have slightly more complicated orders. The 13 box turtles will get beautiful salad-like arrangements of leafy greens, chopped veggies, and fruit, topped with an appetizing earthworm or two. Jaz the American Crow will be offered her typical meal of wet food, worms, mice, and hard-boiled eggs.

By far, the animals with the biggest appetites are the 15 bears at the Wildlife Center – altogether, their meals will weigh about 110 pounds!​

While the rehab team is busy in the kitchen, Drs. Peach and Ernesto, vet technician intern Jess, and students Liam and Lea will be treating the Wildlife Center's patients as usual – the hawks, owls, and turtles that are receiving medications, bandage changes, or specialized feeding. The Center staff will also be standing by to admit any new patients that come in on Thanksgiving Day.

By the time the staff go home to their Thanksgiving dinners, all the animals at the Wildlife Center will be fed, watered, and cared for. The Center is able to provide quality healthcare to wild animals in need – 365 days a year – through the generosity and support of caring individuals. We send you our best wishes for a wonderful holiday. Our patients are thankful for your support … and so are we!