A 2015 reminder of what Wild Things Sanctuary wildlife heroes have achieved, lives they've saved, and dreams they dream!
Wild Things Sanctuary Celebrates 2015!

Frosty is a Big brown bat. He was found in a kitchen sink, put outside in the snow, but was eventually brought to WTS. The icy temperatures caused some wing deterioration, but with time in the new flight cage he learned to fly again and was released this spring. He may live over 20 years and eat over 3,000 insects per night!
     “If you build it, they will come.” When I opened Wild Things Sanctuary in 2008, I had no idea that a line from an 80s Hollywood movie would repeat itself again and again in my head.  As soon as the doors opened, animals kept coming in. Babies, adults, feathered, furred, or even scaly, there seemed to be no end to wildlife who needed a little help before getting back on their feet and returning to the wild.

     In the last nine years, as White-nose Syndrome descended upon the Northeast, wiping out bat populations, it became apparent that these little mammals not only needed help, but they desperately needed advocates. I learned that there are hundreds of bats found injured and in homes every year in New York, yet few places where they could recover. So, in 2012, I committed to helping bats, and once again that line started repeating in my head. So far this year we have admitted more than 80 bat patients from all over New York  State! With the generous help of our supporters, Wild Things Sanctuary is now one of the only places in New York State with almost everything a bat in trouble could need.

     But the year got off to a rocky start, when heavy snow caused one of the enclosures at Wild Things Sanctuary to collapse. Thanks to your support we were able to build a large flight cage in its place, which has been an amazing addition to Wild Things Sanctuary. Mesh inner walls allow insects to enter. Hardwire outer walls keep animals safe. Did you know fledgling bats are not great fliers when they start flying? So, padded flooring helps soften crash landings.

     Having a large area to practice flying has meant bats I thought might never fly well again, were able to relearn flight and be released. The cage has hosted at least 40 bats who would not have had a chance without your generosity. Just think of all the bugs they will eat to repay us! A HUGE thanks to Jake Hill for building the cage, Jodi McCarthy for helping me do the interior (we went through 8 staple guns!), and Hollie Sutherland for coordinating efforts.

Without asking for a word of thanks, bats save humans billions of dollars in pest control every year, and their voracious buggy appetites save us from eating foods doused in pesticides. Outside of the Northeast their role in pollination means that we can have plentiful fresh fruit in our grocery stores. Their pollination of the agave plant, which  tequila is made from, means that this rehabilitator can indulge in a margarita when I can find time to take a break from work! Thanks to all of you, these little heroes now have a place to recover when they end up in trouble.

     And your donations haven't just helped bats. Take a look below for how your generosity has allowed Wild Things Sanctuary to "Share the Love" with other wildlife rehabilitators who need funds to take care of their patients.

     I am wishing all of you the very best for a wonderful holiday season and great year ahead. May our good work continue!


A Look Inside Wild Things Sanctuary

Want an inside look at Wild Things? Check out Small Victories, a great film made last year by students at Ithaca College. Thanks to Mia Daniels, Sam Dellert, and Christina Lugo for doing such a great job!

Meet Some of the Patients

Sassy and baby bat pups
Mama Sassy, second from the right, is an older bat and was a great comfort to the orphan pups this year, seen snuggling up with her. Read their stories in our print newsletter. Thanks to colleagues at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for donating colored bird leg bands that were used as temporary ID tags on the bats (seen on their forearms). Click here for a bigger image.
     People ask, “Isn’t it boring, working mostly with bats?” Absolutely not! Every case presents a new challenge and I’ve never worked with a group of animals that can have such individual personalities. There are shy ones, ferocious ones, scaredy cats, sweet ones, social ones, stubborn ones, etc. To ensure they have the best recovery possible, their individual needs have to be addressed. This may mean giving a shy one more places to hide, or figuring out how to handle one who gets scared more easily. Read about their stories in our printed newsletter, The Wild Times.

Share the Love

     Your donations help more than just bats! Even if Wild Things doesn't have the infrastructure to take in all wildlife, we try to help all wild animals in need. Here are a few stories about ways your donations have helped wildlife rehabilitator Linda Bowen and the patients under her care. Ms. Bowen is licensed by both the state of Connecticut and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She specializes in caring for and rehabilitating bats and waterfowl. Thanks to the donors of Wild Things Sanctuary, periodic financial support to Ms. Bowen has been instrumental to her success as she cares for some rather unusual species that may require extensive and rather expensive care.

A Great Egret gets a second chance
This Great Egret was so weak that he missed his opportunity to head south. Instead, he was found cowering in an alley between two buildings. He was easily captured by volunteers and brought to Ms. Bowen. This young bird had probably not perfected his hunting skills and, unable to consume enough calories, he was not able to undertake a long migration. He also had lots of parasites, which can happen when an animal is debilitated. Under Bowen's care he was soon stable enough to be transported to Delaware to Tri-State Bird and Rescue where he continued his rehabilitation and was fitted with a US Fish and Wildlife leg band and released at the Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. Click on the image for a short video of him learning to hunt.

Want to hear more about Ms. Bowen's rehab stories? Watch these short videos about two more of her patients, a Hooded Merganser, and a young Black Scoter. Both required surgery to recover, but see how well they are doing now!
A Hooded Merganser gets a second chancea young black scoter recovers from injuries

Mission Statement
Wild Things Sanctuary (WTS) is dedicated to helping native wildlife through rescuing and rehabilitating debilitated, orphaned, and displaced animals until they are ready for release back into the wild. Eventually,WTS is also aiming to provide a sanctuary for non-releasable native animals.

WTS is also committed to improving the well-being of wildlife through public education; focusing on how humans can safely and peacefully coexist with native wildlife, and on wildlife’s importance to man and the environment.
Raccoon living in attic
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Help for a Threatened Species

Northern long-eared bats are one of the bat species hit the hardest by White-nose Syndrome. They have almost disappeared from the Northeast, and as the fungus creeps westward, their future is in jeopardy. This year, these little mammals were listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Wild Things Sanctuary was happy to be able to help a Northern long-eared youngster this year. He is one of the only bats of his species reported in New York State in 2015, but the fact that it was a young one means that there must still be a breeding population in New York.
Wild Things coordinates with federal and state agencies to report sightings of bats in trouble. Sadly the only Little brown bat we received this year died of White-nose Syndrome before arrival. Yet, these sad cases strengthen our commitment to help bats!
Owl in a Basket
Whenever I can, I try to help other wildlife in need. This young Great Horned Owl was only about two to three weeks old when she was found on the ground far below her nest. There was no way I could get back up to the nest, and it looked rather flimsy and small anyway. So, after the owlet had a checkup at Cornell's Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, I bought a basket, rope, and bungee cords, grabbed a stash of food and headed up the tree to secure her in a basket just below her nest (click for a bigger image).

Along with a few volunteers who checked on her throughout the day, I anxiously waited to see if her parents would return. I brought up food twice a day to keep her fed if there was no evidence of the parents’ return. But within two days Mama Owl was back with her baby! Here's another photo, taken weeks later when she started to venture off the nest.


Wind Turbine 911

Our online presence enables people to get in touch with wildlife questions from all over the country. A Vermont bat researcher studying the effects of wind turbines on bats in the Northeast, called this autumn about a Hoary bat that was found downed by a turbine by an assistant in New York. I was amazed that this gorgeous migratory bat was unharmed, probably just a bit stunned. After a few days rest, he was released to continue his migratory journey.

Despite the benefits of clean wind energy, thousands of bats are killed by turbines every year; bats may suffer over six times the number of fatalities at wind turbines compared to birds. Researchers across the country are trying to find ways to keep bats and birds safe around wind turbines.
The Wild Times 2015

The Wild Times

Want to hear more about what's been going on at Wild Things Sanctuary? Read our print newsletter, The Wild Times.
How do Donations Help Wild Things Sanctuary?
All donations made to Wild Things Sanctuary go directly to animal care and public education on wildlife. These include animal food, medication, caging and enrichment, animal transport, and the development of wildlife education programs and material, including online resources.

Wild Things Sanctuary also believes in “sharing the love,” and every year, if we have the funds, we  help support other rehabililtators and their work with wildlife patients. Read about these stories to the left.

(Picture above: a two week old Big brown bat pup orphan enjoys her formula)
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Bat Houses

This is one of two bat houses where the juvenile bats moved into after being released. Note the little tray next to the house where extra food was supplied while they learned to hunt. Bats like houses mounted on structures. Check out our webpage about bat houses that includes everything you need to know for attracting bats.
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