WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) – In May 2022, a young Eastern Cottontail rabbit was admitted to the Virginia Wildlife Center in need of care.

Veterinary and rehabilitation staff plan to treat hundreds of rabbits each year, especially in spring and summer, but this specific individual represented an incredible step in the history of the center: it was the 90,000th patient admitted since the founding of the non-profit organization in 1982.

Nearly 40 years ago, the Virginia Wildlife Center was formed to provide quality health care, often in emergencies, to native wildlife.

Over the past four decades, the team of veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitation have provided such care to over 90,000 animals representing over 200 species of native birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

From workers to black bears, the range and diversity of species handled at the center highlights the inherent value that all wild animals possess, regardless of size, shape or public perception.

Ed Clark, current president of the Wildlife Center, co-founded the Wildlife Center of Virginia in November 1982.

“It’s amazing that the Wildlife Center of Virginia has been saving wildlife for nearly 40 years. It is even more astonishing to consider that during these 40 years, the Center admitted more than 90,000 wild patients. The number includes a great diversity of wild species, from the smallest to the largest, from the most common to the rarest and from the most endangered. These patients presented with a wide range of injuries and environmental issues, but the Center was always there for them. The Center has been able to accomplish all of this thanks to the legions of dedicated professionals, students and volunteers who contribute to this vital work, and thanks to the generosity of thousands of caring and committed donors and supporters. said Clark.

Every patient, from the first to the 90,000th and beyond, is an opportunity to maintain their guiding mission statement, teaching the world to care for and care for wildlife and the environment.

Many students in veterinary medicine and rehabilitation who receive practical training at the center are now at the forefront of veterinary fauna medicine worldwide, and thanks to the awareness and education efforts, the lessons that can be learned from these patients’ have been shared with more than 1.5 million school children and adults.

“But, the center is not based on its laurels; The best is yet to come. Patients continue to arrive at an unprecedented rate, so much remains to be done; caring for and learning from each patient, and sharing our insights with policy makers, students and the public,” Clark said.

While it is not possible to predict what the next stage of admissions will be or when, one thing is guaranteed: Center staff, students, volunteers and supporters will share its story and the valuable lessons it contains. , teacher in the world a wild life at the same time. .

Copyright 2022 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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