An 2014 reminder of what Wild Things Sanctuary wildlife heroes have achieved, lives they've saved, and dreams they dream!

Wild Things Sanctuary Celebrates 2014!

“E3,” a young Red-tailed Hawk, may not look like your typical celebrity, but he has thousands of fans all over the world! Together, we rescued him; read his story below.
    It’s been another successful year made possible by all of you! For the past seven years, together we have made a difference to the lives of hundreds of animals. I am so grateful for everyone’s support in helping Wild Things Sanctuary become a place that helps wildlife have a second chance to live, thrive, and return home. Wild Things Sanctuary is a small rehabilitation center with no paid staff, but we strive to help all animals in trouble. If it is beyond our capabilities to take in an animal, we point callers in the right direction so every wild thing can get the help that it needs.

    Though Wild Things Sanctuary has come to specialize in native bat care, we regard every wild animal as a special part of this world, entitled to help. In addition to handling hundreds of calls and emails a year, I am proud that our website and online resources have helped people and animals all over the country and even abroad! Although we handle many animals every year, one case in 2014 was an important reminder of how Wild Things Sanctuary supporters work together to help animals.

    “E3” is a young Red-tailed Hawk who sustained a badly broken wing after getting it trapped in a greenhouse vent shortly after leaving the nest. This young bird has quite a following as his hawk family is featured on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Cams 24/7 live streaming cameras. As soon as he was trapped, members of the public called the Cornell Lab and the facilities department to open the vent. The Cornell Lab contacted me and I was able to get on the scene shortly after the accident.
    Volunteers kept onlookers away until I was able to capture the young bird and bring him to the Janet L. Swanson Cornell Wildlife Health Center. The vets did a great job repairing his badly broken wing and the Cornell Raptor Program worked to get him flying again.

    Though E3 is able to fly short distances, it is unlikely that he would be able to hunt in the wild, so he is now a hawk "ambassador" with the Cornell Raptor Program and has already inspired thousands of people to learn more about these beautiful birds and to care for our shared environment. In the picture above, E3 attends his first event as an ambassador at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Migration Celebration in October. E3's rescue and rehabilitation highlighted what we can achieve by working together: the public, wildlife rehabilitators, and vets were all part of his rescue and recovery. When we work together like this, slowly the world can be come a better place. Way to go Wild Things supporters!

  I am so grateful to all of the Wild Things Sanctuary supporters for being part of this great year! And thank you to all the finders and volunteers who drove long distances to bring patients to Wild Things Sanctuary, and to the vets who helped treat our many patients.

    Please consider making a year-end donation to Wild Things Sanctuary to help keep all the good work moving forward! You are a part of every one of our successes, including when someone from afar uses our online resources to help an animal near them. Together, we can all raise awareness and help our wonderful wild things!

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

_____ More Patient News _________
     As many of you know, Wild Things Sanctuary now specializes in native bat care. So far, I've admitted about 50 bat patients this year. Who knew that specializing in bats could keep me so busy! They come from all over as there are so few places that work with bats. However, I also help out with other animals when I can, and am able to oversee "junior" rehabilitators' (those who work under my license) who work with a variety of different species.

     In total, our Wild Things Sanctuary team helped about 150 animals in 2014, in addition to talking to hundreds of members of the public online and on the phone about injured animals and wildlife concerns. Here are some of our patients' stories:

“Lola” may look like a baby alien, but she is a Big brown bat pup. Her mother died giving birth to her twin. I didn’t know if this tiny newborn would survive. But Lola bounced back and was among the biggest and healthiest of the orphan pups this year! On the left, she is a day old sucking on a tiny sponge as a pacifier. On the right, she is almost four weeks old lying on top of her adopted brother “Frankie.” We are learning a lot about specialized bat care: from infant formula to adult care,  medications, and wound healing.


A young Great Horned OwlA young Great Horned Owl chick was found after her nest was destroyed in Ithaca, New York. After unsuccessfully trying to reunite her with her parents for several days, I brought the baby to Wild Things Sanctuary. To have a chance at being wild, I knew she needed owl foster parents. The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge, six hours away, has several adult owls and agreed to take her in. She was successfully raised by her foster parents and was released a few months ago. She is doing well and stops by from time to time if she needs an extra snack while she perfects her hunting skills.

Just another bat? Actually this tiny 4 gram fellow is a Northern long-eared bat, a rarity nowadays as sadly they are a species devastated by White-nose Syndrome. He was found on the Cornell campus with an injured tail. In the next few months these bats may be federally listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. They are already listed as endangered in several states. Wild Things Sanctuary was happy to help him and give him a safe, clean place to hibernate for the winter. He's up to a whopping 8 grams!

Big brown bats hurt by catsTwo Big brown bats injured by cats. Because of their injuries, I don't yet know if these two will be releasable. I hope one day New York State will allow permits for unreleasable bats to be used for education purposes; meeting bats in person would really help people care more about these personality-packed little animals that are in trouble in so many ways. For now, many thanks to the Organization for Bat Conservation that has helped us with unreleasable cases.

_____ Sharing our Vision _________
As in previous years, through outreach, online education, and talks, Wild Things Sanctuary remains involved in helping raise public awareness about issues facing wildlife, and how people can live together with wildlife in more humane and peaceful ways.

The Wild Things Sanctuary website receives hundreds of visitors every day and continues to be a source of information to the public looking for wildlife information.

I have also enjoyed working with journalists to help spread the word about how people can help wildlife. Check out Lex Berko's article, What to Do When You Find a Wild Animal in Distress, published in CityLab, the online publication from The Atlantic, and Clara MacCarald's Fungal Threat To Bats Continues, from the Ithaca Times.

You can download our printed newsletter, The Wild Times, for more information on what we've been up to, and our plans for 2015. 

Thanks for everyone's support! And it's not too late to make a year-end donation today!
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A Northern long-eared bat

Wildlife Tip

Help! There's a bat in my house!!

The first thing you need to do is to take a deep breath; most bats are healthy but can get through tiny cracks and enter homes by accident. They want to get out probably more than you want them out!

The best thing to do is to open a window and let them find their own way outside. If they have landed, you can carefully try to catch the bat and let it go outdoors. If it is winter call a wildlife rehabilitator who can advise you on whether the animal can be let go outdoors, or if it should be brought to a rehabilitation center until spring.

Bats, especially Big brown bats, will roost in attics or in walls of buildings. They usually don't cause any harm, but if it's a nuisance to you, work with a trained wildlife officer on how to exclude the animals at the best time of year; being careful not to separate mothers and babies during the spring and summer months. And consider putting up a bat house to offer your bat residents alternate housing nearby.

Check out Bat Conservation International's fact sheet on bats in homes and removal strategies. The Wild Things Sanctuary webpage Living with Wildlife has additional information on how to handle wildlife that may enter your home.

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.

In 2015 we are hoping to build a large bat flight cage so youngsters can learn how to fly and hunt. Help us make this possible: make a year-end gift to Wild Things to help animals in need.

A Big brown bat

Find us on Facebook

The picture above of a fluffy Big brown bat went viral on our Facebook page, was shared hundreds of times and brought in many new Wild Things Sanctuary Facebook friends.

However, I have a feeling that this little Big brown bat cared less about his internet popularity and a lot more about recovering and being released! He was found skinny and dehydrated in someone’s home during the winter and had a safe place to hibernate at Wild Things Sanctuary until spring.

Keep up with all of our news and patients on the Wild Things Sanctuary Facebook page.
Animal Help Now

Animal Help Now

Animal Help Now is the Nation’s first animal emergency app. It is an easy to use web-based tool and free smartphone app that connects people who have found an animal in trouble, with people who can provide help with animal emergencies. This includes both domestic animals and wildlife.

This app is super easy to use and provides instant access to an extensive network of animal helpers, including wildlife rehabilitators, animal rescue centers, animal hotlines, humane wildlife control operators, and veterinarians who treat wildlife.

Take a look at their video to find out all about it. It's a must-have app for all animal lovers!

Five Good Fortunes

Many thanks to the students I worked with this year at Ithaca College! Stay tuned for a great film that the documentary team just finished. The PR class helped get together the fun new bat logo pictured above. Five bats grouped together are an extremely auspicious Chinese symbol representing the "five good fortunes": Wealth, Health, Longevity, Love, and Virtue.

Mission Statement

Wild Things Sanctuary (WTS) is dedicated to helping native wildlife through rescuing and rehabilitating debilitated and orphaned/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.
Copyright © 2014 Wild Things Sanctuary, All rights reserved.
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