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.

November 2, 2022

Autumn is in full swing in Virginia, and during late October many of us have had the chance to view the brilliant changes in foliage all across the Commonwealth. A kaleidoscope of oranges, yellows, and reds among the natural landscape sets a perfect backdrop for favorite fall activities, but it also signals the approach of a less-beloved fall chore for some homeowners – raking, bagging, and disposing of fallen leaves that find their way into lawns and gardens. This year, the Wildlife Center is encouraging homeowners to try a different approach: leave those leaves be!

October 27, 2022

On October 20, a biologist from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) brought an Allegheny Woodrat to the Center. The rat had been stuck on a glue trap at someone's home in Rockbridge County and was originally taken to another veterinary facility where it was removed from the glue trap before being transferred to the Wildlife Center. 

October 26, 2022

On September 13, a private citizen in Mechanicsville, Virginia noticed a Canada Goose thrashing around in the lake in their backyard. A closer inspection revealed that the goose was hooked by a fishing lure on its bill and its left leg, causing its head to become caught underwater. The goose would likely have drowned had the citizen not acted quickly and freed the goose from the fishing gear. After freeing the goose, the rescuer transported the exhausted bird to the Wildlife Center.

October 25, 2022

Each year during the last week of October, wildlife enthusiasts all across the world celebrate an important and exciting event – Bat Week! Conservation organizations, government agencies, wildlife educators, and members of the public take the time to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, these amazing creatures and to encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.

October 24, 2022

During the spring of 2022, a young Virginia Opossum was admitted to the Center after he was injured by a free-roaming outdoor cat. While he recovered from most of his injuries, his right eye sustained considerable trauma and needed to be removed. While only one eye, this opossum would not have been able to survive in the wild and was deemed non-releasable by veterinary staff -- but his story was far from over. Based on his age, temperament, otherwise healthy condition, and other factors, he was considered a possible candidate to join the Center's animal ambassador team. 

October 13, 2022

Last month, the Wildlife Center enlisted the help of the public in coming up with a name for a non-releasable Eastern Ratsnake that will soon be traveling to programs as one of the Center’s education ambassadors. News of the ratsnake naming traveled far and wide; within two weeks, the Center received 191 suggestions from 16 different states and even other countries!

October 12, 2022



Want to help us feed our wild patients this year? Many of the patients at the Wildlife Center, including fawns, squirrels, and bears, depend on acorns and other “hard mast” as an important fall and winter food.