Success in 2012:
What a great year at Wild Things thanks to all of the generous support we have received from people like YOU!
What YOU have made possible!
To the left, "Taz" the little Grey fox all de-wormed and grown up (about 10 weeks old). On the right, de-wormer meatballs & one of Taz's adopted brothers finds a spot to rest after playtime.
Where to even begin?? Let's start with the Wild Things' fox...you helped make sure they grew up healthy! We had red and grey kits and they all did great. Your support allowed us to buy vaccinations and de-wormer for all of them, the latter we mixed with chopped meat and served as meatballs. Yum!
Your support allowed us to help many orphaned animals like these young raccoons whose mother was shot and killed, leaving behind 5 babies. To the right is their first trip up a real tree! They received all of their distemper and rabies vaccinations thanks to generous donations and the help of Dr. Brian Collins, who helps us with "rabies vector species," such as raccoons, skunks and bats.
Five baby raccoons left as orphans when their mother was shot. They became great little climbers once released into the woods!
Your support also helped us train volunteers in proper rehabilitation techniques such as feeding different species in different ways (e.g., young Mourning Doves must stick their beaks INTO something to eat, unlike other young birds who open their beaks and wait for food) and in carefully monitoring species who can be difficult to rehabilitate such as White Tailed Deer fawns.
A BIG thank you to the great WTS 2012 Animal Volunteer Team: Jodi McCarthy, Jayanthi Kallum, Emma Clausen, Vishnu Balusu & Lyssa Buda. We can't have many people working with animals as we don't want patients to get used to people, so between us there was a lot of work! Often volunteers arrived before 7am and left after midnight. Also, congratulations to Jayanthi Kallum & Vishnu Balusu for passing their NYS Wildlife Rehabilitator exam in 2012 (they are now volunteering at the Wild Bird Fund in NYC), and to 2011 volunteers Adam Chung & Stella Blum for being accepted into veterinary school!
To the left, a newborn fawn, still shaky on his legs. On the right the fawns receive probiotics after a meal. On the upper right a young Mourning Dove eats seeds out of a modified syringe case.
Wild Things supporters also helped rescue hundreds of animals this year and many folks drove these animals many miles in order to get them help. Below we have a Woodland Jumping Mouse who came from several hours away, and pictures of several of our baby skunks. The ones on the right were found cuddled up with their dead mother who had been hit by a car and still managed to get back to her babies before dying. Her daughters were well taken care of at Wild Things!
Jumping mice are rarely seen, but are lovely little animals with long tails and giant feet. Baby skunks do not have full spraying power until they are several months old. We rarely have skunk spraying incidents at Wild Things as we work carefully and quietly around these animals, especially adults, so as not to frighten them.
Your donations also made it possible to look after some really tough cases that took more time than others. Do you remember Victor the Fainting Fawn? He grew out of his fainting spells and here he is just before being release earlier this year (many thanks to Jeanne Marie Brady-Fensterer at Deering Endeavors: The Buck Stops Here for taking on his care). Below left is a Starling who fell into a chimney...when a fire was lit! He was here for almost a year and became very handsome once his feathers came back in. Thank you to the Cornell Wildlife Health Center for help with his care. It is rare to see Short Tailed Weasels, or Ermines, even more rare to see baby ones. The tiny weasel baby pictured below was dug from its burrow and injured by a cat. At 18g he had to be fed every hour with a very specialized formula to meet his high metabolic needs. He became very plump and glossy (to the right), but at full size he was under 100g, or 3.5oz!
"Lucky" the European Starling right before his release. We miss his wonderful singing! "Victor" at almost a year old. At 4 months "Merlin" the weasel started catching mice around Wild Things and bringing them back to his cage. We wish them all the best back home in the wild!
You support allowed us to add to our outdoor cages. A 16'x8' double sided enclosure has been a great soft-release cage, a kind of half-way house for animals before they are released. Thank you to Jim Holt and his team for building this enclosure for us. A huge 17' long tent now serves as a great flight area for bats. When the bats are enclosed in the back part of the tent, we use lights to attract insects into the front part. Then we close up the front, open the divider between front and back and let the bats fly and hunt all night long! A great way for young to practice skills before release!
These new enclosures have already helped many animals get ready for life back in the wild!
Your generous donations allowed us to buy LOTS of food and formula for all of our patients. We have to keep a strict formula feeding schedule for all of our patients to grow up healthy. Once they are older they receive a mix of species appropriate foods: from dandelion (bunnies) to mice (raptors & fox). We also lightly boil chicken to supplement their food. On a busy week we might serve up about 40+ drumsticks/week in addition to other food items. For the bats and birds and other wild things we often order 10,000 mealworms at a time: we couldn't do this without your support!!
YUM! The May feeding schedule pictured on the right only got busier and longer as spring moved into summer!
And speaking of bats...Wild Things Sanctuary is one of the only rehabilitation centers in upstate NY to work with bats. This year we had 4 different species arrive for help. We also had a pregnant Big Brown Bat mother have twins, and adopt an orphan of the same species. Our outreach on White Nose Syndrome has encouraged many people to help bats in trouble and learn how to be better guardian angels to these wonderful flying mammals. A big thank you for all who reached out to help bats instead of giving into fear and fables about this group of species. May your yards always be mosquito free!
On the upper left a Hoary Bat is pictured (eating a mealworm), and below a Northern Long Earred Bat. Both of these species are not often seen in NYS. On the right is a mother Big Brown Bat. Her twin boys are to the right and her adopted daughter is on her back. We greatly appreciated Mama Bat volunteering her time to look after an orphan for us! ;p
Wild Things also does a lot of education every year via newsletters and presentations, and YOU make this possible! Outreach on cats and wildlife has given people the knowledge that not only are there lots of dangers outside for cats, but as non-native predators cats interfere with native predator-prey balances, even limiting prey for native predators like raptors and fox. Many people have inquired about "cat bibs" (as seen in below picture) that limit a cat's ability to catch wild animals. Wild Things has found this the best method in preventing cats from harming wildlife. Find a link of where to buy one here. Education on proper garbage disposal and the use of non-toxic chemicals has helped folks understand that their choices can make a big difference to wild animal health. In 2012 we also helped children's book author Jennifer Keats Curtis on her book Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators (see column to right). We hope this will inspire the next generation to become wildlife rehabilitators!
A domestic cat modeling the "cat bib." Native amphibians are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals.
But the greatest gift that all Wild Things Sanctuary supporters have given is a second chance to so many wild animals. Over 90% end up in trouble due to human related incidents. Wild Things, and other rehabilitation centers, help balance this out by giving wild animals a chance to get healthy and be wild once more.
A four week old squirrel takes a nap in cozy blankets after having his formula.
Thank you one and all for making all of these things possible! Please consider making a year-end (or beginning of the year) donation to continue to help the wild things!
Happy 2013 one and all!
President & Founder, Wild Things Sanctuary