Wildlife Center

I grew up on a ranch in Virginia where my family trained and bred Appaloosa horses. When I was five, my parents saw a newspaper article about an elderly couple who ran a wildlife rehabilitation center but needed to retire due to illness. You’d think they would be too busy with the horses, but my family decided to take on a wildlife center as well! For four years, while I was ages six to ten, we took care of injured and orphaned wild animals at the Central Virginia Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Some of my favorite memories included: 

Bottle-feeding baby squirrels when they were so small, their eyes weren’t open yet, and their tails were small and sleek instead of big and bushy

Driving way out in the woods with my family to release animals back into the wild once they were healed, or when babies were grown enough to make it on their own.

Watching baby raccoons wash grapes and melon chunks, patting them in the water with their paws before they ate the fruit.

Feeding baby birds dry cat food soaked in water, given to them on the end of a popsicle stick. They chirped up a storm and made hilarious gobbling noises as they chowed down on their food.

Check out more photos here.

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