Our Work

Watch for turtles crossing the roads during this rainy weather. If you see one, help it across by placing it off the side of the road where it was headed. If you see one that has been hit, call us, because our vet is great at healing injured turtles. This male painted turtle was hit by a car and looked like he might be dead, but with treatment and stabilization of the pieces of his broken shell (which is a broken bone) he is recovering well. ...

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Thank you to Dr Mitch Rode and Alison Rode of Clarke Equine Wellness and Performance for coming out on a Sunday to take radiographs of this eagle with a wing injury. ...

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Celebrate Earth Day by teaching others to appreciate wildlife. ...

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New red fox kit orphan with an ear infection. This orphan was starving and dehydrated when he was found, but is doing well now. At WVC, he will join other orphan fox kits of the same age to ensure he remains bonded to other foxes, and not to humans, as he grows up. ...

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Eastern screech owl at Plaza Pet Clinic for surgery on his eye. When screech owls are hit by vehicles, they frequently sustain serious injuries to their eyes. This owl has permanent damage to the left eye, but may still be able to survive in the wild because screech owls rely primarily on their excellent hearing to catch prey. ...

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This rescued immature red-shouldered hawk is improving after breaking his wing in a collision with a car.
Interesting things to notice in this photo are that this young hawk's eye color is in the process of changing from its juvenile yellow color to the deep brown of an adult. Also notice at the base of the tongue you can see the epiglottis. Birds don't have a larynx with vocal cords like we do, but instead use a dilated area of their trachea called the syrinx to make their vocalizations.
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Update on White Nose Syndrome in West Virginia Bats by Craig Stifler.
*It's not all bad news*
April 2017
The fungal disease White Nose
Syndrome (WNS) was first documented in
West Virginia in early 2009. Since then, there
have been significant declines in the numbers
of bats observed in hibernacula. Species most
impacted have been the little brown bat,
Indiana bat, northern long-eared bat, and
tricolored bat. During winter 2016-2017,
WVDNR biologists conducted bat surveys in 20
caves, including the state’s most important bat
hibernaculum, Hellhole. Nineteen of these
caves were also surveyed in winter 2014-2015.
The results of the 2017 surveys contained both
good news and bad news.
Virginia big-eared bats, an endangered
species, do not seem to be impacted by WNS,
and their numbers are increasing. The winter
count was the highest on record with 15,354
Virginia big-eared bats tallied. Over 13,000
were in Hellhole. Unlike other bats in the state,
Virginia big-eared bats also form summer
maternity colonies that use caves. WVDNR
biologists monitor the bats in these colonies
each June using night-vision equipment to
count the bats as they emerge in the evening
to feed. The June 2016 count was also the
highest summer count on record.
Little brown bats were once one of the
most common bats in the state. By 2014,
WNS reduced the population by around 97%.
Winter surveys conducted in 2016 showed that
the number of little brown bats in caves
surveyed in both 2014 and 2016 increased
17% between the two surveys. The number
observed in caves surveys this past winter
showed an increase of 19% over the 2015
total. While the number of bats remaining is
still much lower than pre-WNS numbers, an
increase in numbers is a welcome change.
Unfortunately, we are still not seeing
increases in other species. The winter 2017
surveys documented a further 50.8% decline in
Indiana bats and a 23.9% decline in tricolored
bats (formerly called eastern pipistrelles) since
2015. Hellhole has the largest concentration of endangered Indiana bats in the state. There
used to be over 18,500 Indiana bats
hibernating in the cave; the 2017 survey
counted only 794 Indiana bats, a decrease of
nearly 96%. Northern long-eared bats are not
often observed in caves inWest Virginia, so
winter surveys don’t provide a good way to
monitor their populations. Summer bat mist
netting data suggest that this species has
declined, but the decline does not seem to be
as severe as it has been for little brown bats.
Because WNS affects bats during
hibernation, migratory bats that move south
rather than enter hibernation are not affected.
Migratory bats include the eastern red bat,
hoary bat, and silver-haired bat.
Craig Stihler
...

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This wild cottontail may look too small to release but at this age they will go off on their own. Female cottontails have their babies in shallow nests in tall grass, soft soil or mulch. The babies grow quickly and will leave the nest in 3 weeks, and completely weaned in 4. This cottontail's nest was destroyed by a dog so she finished growing up with us. Cottontails can't carry or move their babies to a new nest, but sometimes a female will return to a disturbed nest and continue to raise her babies. ...

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The long-tailed duck was released on Lake Frederick yesterday with a captive audience taking photos. He enjoyed being free again and we wish him success as he continues his migration north. This unusual duck is the only member of its genus and possesses many interesting characteristics. Learn more about them at this link animaldiversity.org/accounts/Clangula_hyemalis/ ...

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Care for sick and injured wildlife 540-664-9494