Untamed Compendium

In May 2019, Virginia Public Media launched Untamed: Life is Wild, a 13- episode television series that offered an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the lifesaving work of the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Each 30-minute episode focused on a different species treated at the Center and featured stories, videos, and interviews with Center staff.

Season Two of Untamed begins May 21 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern! The second season explores a variety of challenging wildlife issues from the perspective of a large wildlife hospital.

May 21: Episode 201: One Health


Check out additional videos and resources in our One Health compendium! 

May 28: Episode 202: Wild Neighbors
This episode focuses on our wild neighbors – the animals that share space with and around us. While many people may want to create backyard habitats for wildlife, others may be uncertain about living near wild animals and have concerns about “nuisance” neighbors. Join Wildlife Center staff to learn what steps we can take to better understand the wildlife that live around us, while minimizing interactions with our wild neighbors, to keep everyone safe in their preferred habitats.

June 4: Episode 203: Best of Season One: VPM’s Pledge Week Episode
It’s VPM’s Pledge Week; so this week’s episode of Untamed highlights the best of Season One!

June 11: Episode 204: Lead Poisoning
Lead toxicity is a significant problem for Bald Eagles, vultures, and other birds of prey; more than two-thirds of eagles admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia have measurable levels of lead in their blood.  Join the Wildlife Center staff and other experts to learn why lead poisoning occurs in wildlife, how it’s treated, and how we can work together to solve this preventable problem.

June 18: Episode 205: Backyard Wildlife Habitats
This episode focuses on how to set up a safe backyard habitat, including the critical components to make your yard a sanctuary for wild animals. Join Wildlife Center staff and backyard naturalists to learn how we can create safe spaces to attract wildlife while minimizing our impact and chance of disturbance for our wild neighbors.

June 25: Episode 206: Critters Don't Need Litter
Litter is one of the biggest impacts that humans have on their environment. Litter isn’t just an aesthetic problem; it has serious impacts on habitats, wildlife health, as well as human health and safety. The consequences of even small acts of littering can be far-reaching and long-lasting. Join the Wildlife Center staff and watershed conservation authorities to learn more about the problems litter can pose, as well as a variety of ways that you can help reduce litter.

July 2: Episode 207: Wildlife Rehabilitation
Wildlife rehabilitation is the treatment and care of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals with the goal of releasing the animals back to their natural habitats. Join Center staff and several at-home permitted Virginia wildlife rehabilitators to learn more about what wildlife rehabilitators do, the invaluable service they provide to their communities, and the role that they play in wildlife conservation.

July 9: Episode 208: Technology in Wildlife Medicine
This episode highlights the many ways technology has transformed wildlife medicine and education. In many cases, technology has allowed us to treat injured wildlife more quickly and more effectively and has shaped the way we form our protocols and procedures. New technologies have also allowed us to expand our educational footprint and reach new people around the world.

July 16: Episode 209: The Case for Indoor Cats
This episode focuses on the reasons why keeping cats – domestic pets– indoors is better for wildlife, the cats themselves, and human health. Outdoor cats cause significant problems for wildlife and the environment; these cats also have shorter lifespans and are subjected to many more dangers than their indoor counterparts. Join Center staff, health experts, and a cat behaviorist to learn how we can fix this human-caused issue and keep wildlife, cats, and the environment safer.

July 23: Episode 210: Teaching the World
The Wildlife Center of Virginia is a teaching hospital for wildlife medicine and conservation. Through intensive, hands-on programs in veterinary medicine, wildlife rehabilitation, and education, the Center staff train dozens of people each year. These professional staff and students may now be found on the cutting-edge of wildlife veterinary medicine around the world.

July 30: Episode 211: Bird Migration
Migration is the seasonal movement of animals from one location to another. Join the Center staff and migratory bird experts as they explain why birds migrate, and the dangers that they may face along their journeys. Learn how to help migrating birds and why we should be concerned about more than just our own backyards.

August 6: Episode 212: Wildlife Research
Rehabilitators and veterinarians treat tens of thousands of wild animals each year and are often the first to notice trends that contribute valuable insights to overall wildlife health. During the past 37 years, Center veterinarians have led a variety of research studies on wildlife health, using data from the patients admitted to the hospital. Join the Center staff and other wildlife professionals to learn about the critical role wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians play in caring for wildlife population health.

August 13: Episode 213: After the Release
When an animal is rehabilitated and returned to the wild, what comes after? In many cases, we may never know, but there are a few ways post-release data can be gathered on former patients. This insight not only can prove that wildlife rehabilitation works, but post-release data can also contribute important information about overall wildlife populations. In this episode, join Center staff and wildlife researchers as they reflect on what some former wildlife patients have taught us.

The series will air on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on VPM public television stations in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, and Richmond. The new episodes will also be streamed via Facebook Live on Wildlife Center of Virginia, VPM, and Science Matters Facebook pages.

Each Friday morning, after a new episode airs, the Wildlife Center will publish a companion guide for that episode. This online compendium offers a library of materials that support each episode of Untamed, including “inside the episode” videos, resources, and learning activities for students who are watching Untamed as a part of classroom learning.

Catch up on Season One of Untamed here!

Interested in bringing Untamed to your local PBS station?

Untamed Season 1 has been made available to public television stations across the country through American Public Television. Interested viewers may contact their local public television at any time to ask if they are planning on airing Untamed; if not, feel free to request that they do!