Happy World Snake Day! Each year on July 16, people all across the globe celebrate snakes – a group of animals that are often underappreciated and misunderstood. Most snake species found in Virginia are naturally reclusive and avoid contact with humans whenever possible, which can perpetuate the negative myths and misconceptions people may have about them.
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.
On July 11, a young bear cub was found, along a road in Fauquier County, beside her deceased mother. Rescuers contacted the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, and the bear was admitted the following morning to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
On February 28, Wildlife Center President Ed Clark traveled to Boise, Idaho to participate in a “Lead-free Summit” organized by the North American Non-lead Partnership, a coalition of state wildlife agencies and conservation organizations, and Sporting Lead-free, a conservation initiative of the Teton Raptor Center. The purpose of the summit was to assess the effectiveness of efforts to promote non-lead hunting and angling and to identify projects that participants in the summit can collaborate on.
The Wildlife Center of Virginia has just lost one of its best friends and unsung heroes. Debbi Skluzak, known on the Wildlife Center’s Critter Cam as Congowings, lost her long battle with cancer last week. She leaves a big hole in our hearts and on our team.
Independence Day is here, and with it, millions of Americans will be celebrating through classic and time-honored traditions: grilling with friends and family in the backyard, hitting our favorite hiking trails and campsites, watching parades, and – for many people – enjoying fireworks displays. The dazzling sights and sounds can be an exciting experience for some humans, but wildlife perceive and react to fireworks in a very different way.
Clover’s family was regularly monitored and banded by permitted American Kestrel banders in Augusta County. In 2021, Clover hatched and the permitted banders – also falconers – removed Clover and trained her as a falconry bird. She was released back to the wild in the fall of 2021. Clover came to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in November 2021 after she was attempting to follow humans at a local gas station; Center staff evaluated her behavior and deemed that she was imprinted on humans.
In April 2021, a fledgling Eastern Screech-Owl was found on the ground at a park in Charlottesville. The owl was in very poor condition, and the veterinary team at the Wildlife Center found that the young bird had lead poisoning. The owl went through extensive treatment; while he survived, the veterinary team ultimately decided the bird was non-releasable due to permanent neurologic deficits. Ozzy began his training to become an education ambassador in late 2021 and received his name after the 2021 Gala.