Thanksgiving 2022

Happy Thanksgiving, from the Wildlife Center of Virginia!

Many Americans are busily preparing for their Thanksgiving meals, planning and creating various tasty dishes to share with family and friends. The staff at the Center are also checking their ingredients and updating their guest list -- at this point, the staff expect a group of nearly 100!

Dr. Karra, Dr. Marit, Jess, Kelsey, and Liz, along with student Haylee, are at the Wildlife Center today caring for 21 education ambassador animals and approximately 80 wild patients. Kelsey and her crew will be preparing and delivering meals, as well as cleaning enclosures and updating patient records. While 100 may seem like a large guest list, this will be a fairly "easy" day compared to this summer when we had nearly 300 patients to serve!

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 is making dozens of species-specific diets that cater to each species' needs and each patient's particular desires.

Rehabber Recipe cards include: 


While the rehabilitators are busy in the kitchen, Dr. Karra and her team will go through morning treatments for patients in need of medications, bandage changes, daily checks, or other medical procedures. And they’ll be ready for any new patients that might arrive -- always a possibility, any day of the year. By the time the staff go home to their Thanksgiving dinners, all 100 animals will be fed, watered, and cared for.

The Center is able to provide quality healthcare to wild animals in need 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 we are too!

This year’s anticipated Thanksgiving guest list at the Wildlife Center includes:

  • 5 American Black Bears
  • 3 American Kestrels
  • 1 American Robin
  • 2 Bald Eagles
  • 3 Barred Owls
  • 1 Broad-winged Hawk
  • 1 Canada Goose
  • 1 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Common Garter Snake
  • 1 Cornsnake
  • 1 Eastern American Toad
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 20 Eastern Box Turtles
  • 9 Eastern Gray Squirrels
  • 2 Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes
  • 2 Eastern Painted Turtles
  • 6 Eastern Ratsnakes
  • 1 Eastern River Cooter
  • 5 Eastern Screech-Owls
  • 1 Fish Crow
  • 6 Great Horned Owls
  • 1 Gyrfalcon
  • 3 Mourning Doves
  • 1 Peregrine Falcon
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 1 Red Fox
  • 1 Red-shouldered Hawk
  • 8 Red-tailed Hawks
  • 1 Russian Tortoise
  • 2 Snapping Turtles
  • 3 Virginia Opossums
  • 1 Western Hog-nosed Snake
  • 1 Winter Wren
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


Happy Thanksgiving to all!

And once the food is eaten and the dishes are cleared ... gather with your friends and family to watch this Thanksgiving-themed hit show from our kitchen: Wild Chef!