WILDLIFE CENTER OF VIRGINIA ANNOUNCES AUTUMN OPEN-HOUSE SCHEDULE

Reservations Required for Free Tours The Wildlife Center of Virginia, the nation's leading teaching and research hospital for native wildlife, has scheduled five open houses for Autumn 2007. These are rare opportunities to see the inner workings of the nation's premier wildlife hospital, as well as meet some of the wildlife that serve as the Center's education staff and ambassadors. The open houses will be held on:
  • Sunday, August 26
  • Sunday, September 9
  • Sunday, September 23
  • Sunday, September 30 and
  • Sunday, October 14
The Center will have three separate sessions each day - at 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Each session lasts about an hour. As a wildlife emergency room and hospital, the Wildlife Center is not usually open to the public, and the seasonal open houses are the rare times when visitors may tour the Waynesboro facility. There is no charge to attend the open house; however, reservations are required [540.942.9453 or wildlife@wildlifecenter.org]. A limited number of spaces are available for each session; early reservations are suggested. During the open house, visitors will tour the Center's building, including the medical clinic [examination room, operating room, etc.]. In addition, visitors will get to "meet" the Center's education animals - some of the 20 non-releasable animals that the Center's education staff uses in school assemblies and classroom presentations. Included in the Center's education "faculty" are a Bald Eagle, a Golden Eagle, owls [Great-horned, Screech, and Barred], Red-Tailed Hawks, several different species of snakes, and Virginia Opossums. As most of these animals live in outdoor homes, this part of the tour is offered only if weather permits. Every year, about 2,500 animals - ranging from Bald Eagles to opossums to chipmunks - are brought to the Wildlife Center for care. "The goal of the Center is to restore our patients to health and return as many as possible to the wild," Wildlife Center President Ed Clark said. "At the Wildlife Center, we treat to release." The Wildlife Center of Virginia is an internationally acclaimed teaching and research hospital for wildlife and conservation medicine, celebrating 25 years of service during 2007. Since its founding in 1982, the nonprofit Center has cared for more than 47,000 wild animals, representing 200 species of native birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The Center's public education programs share insights gained through the care of injured and orphaned wildlife, in hopes of reducing human damage to wildlife. The Center trains veterinary and conservation professionals from all over the world and is actively involved in comprehensive wildlife health studies and the surveillance of emerging diseases. Additional information about the Wildlife Center is available at www.wildlifecenter.org.