Current Patients

Black Bear cubs of 2015

In April 2015, the Wildlife Center began admitting this year’s bear cubs from locations throughout Virginia. These bears were likely born in early January to mid-February of 2015. The cubs were suspected separated from their mothers, or possibly orphaned. In most cases, the cub was left alone for a period of time to allow the sow to come back and reunite with it.

Latest Update: April 23, 2015

The three bear cubs are doing well at the Wildlife Center. The bears are eating well, and as of April 20, the bears were cut back to twice-a-day bottle feedings. In between feedings they are offered a “mush bowl” consisting of thickened formula, soft dog food, and small pieces of fruit. The bears are weighed twice a week to ensure each cub is eating enough food; on April 23, weights were as follows:

Cub #15-0224 (no tag): 3.8 kg
Cub #15-0292 (red tag): 4.6 kg
Cub #15-0354 (yellow tag): 2.6 kg

Merlin #15-0151

On March 9, a juvenile Merlin was found unable to fly in Roanoke County, Virginia. The bird was brought to Wildlife Care Alliance rehabilitator in Radford, Virginia; the bird was given fluids, anti-inflammatories, and its wing was bandaged, due to a suspected right ulnar fracture and carpel luxation [dislocated wrist]. On March 11, the bird was transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Latest Update: April 22, 2015

After a week of cage rest in the Center’s metals cage complex, the veterinary team re-examined Merlin #15-0151. Veterinary staff agreed that the bird’s contracted patagium was improving and the bird was cleared move to one of the Center’s B pens [B7] on April 10.

On March 9, a juvenile Merlin was found unable to fly in Roanoke County, Virginia. The bird was brought to Wildlife Care Alliance rehabilitator in Radford, Virginia; the bird was given fluids, anti-inflammatories, and its wing was bandaged, due to a suspected right ulnar fracture and carpel luxation [dislocated wrist]. On March 11, the bird was transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Latest Update: April 8, 2015

During the past 10 days, Merlin #15-0251 continued to receive regular bandage changes and physical therapy sessions on its right wing. On March 20, veterinary staff rechecked radiographs and noted that the fracture site was healing, but was not completely stable. They also reassessed the bird’s patagium and found that it was still contracted. Since the fracture site was not stable enough to remove the bandage and allow the Merlin’s patagium to relax, the veterinary staff replaced the bird’s bandage and continued with physical therapy sessions every three days.

On March 9, a juvenile Merlin was found unable to fly in Roanoke County, Virginia. The bird was brought to Wildlife Care Alliance rehabilitator in Radford, Virginia; the bird was given fluids, anti-inflammatories, and its wing was bandaged, due to a suspected right ulnar fracture and carpel luxation [dislocated wrist]. On March 11, the bird was transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Latest Update: March 24, 2015

Merlin #15-0151 has remained bright, alert, and very feisty during the past week and is eating well. On March 20, the veterinary staff rechecked radiographs, which revealed a small callus forming at the fracture site indicating that the fracture was healing. Dr. Meghan noticed that there was some moderate contracture of the right patagium [the leading edge of a bird's wing between the shoulder and the wrist] during the bird’s physical therapy session.

Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: April 21, 2015

After blood work was found to be within normal limits earlier this month, Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 began a formal exercise program on April 10. The rehabilitation staff eased the bird into flying more laps in the Center’s FP4 enclosure; the bird lacked stamina at first, but showed improvement after a week of exercise.

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: April 8, 2015

During the past three weeks, Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 has been seen flying well on her own in one of the Center’s flight pens. A routine blood analysis at the end of March revealed another infection of plasmodium, a blood parasite. The bird began another course of medication to treat the parasite, and remained off exercise for the duration of the treatment.

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: March 16, 2015

Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 has been continuing to improve during the past two weeks, although the bird went through a period of inconsistent eating earlier this month. The rehabilitation staff acclimated the hawk to the outdoor temperatures for several days last weekend, and on March 10 moved the hawk to an outdoor enclosure. The hawk was first moved to an enclosure in the Center's C-pens; these enclosures provide space for patients to move and hop to several different perches, but limit the overall activity of birds that should not yet be in a large flight pen.

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: March 4, 2015

Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 continues to slowly recover from lead poisoning. The hawk is now consistently breathing without increased effort and has moved out of the Center’s critical care chamber into a regular crate in the holding room. The hawk has received two rounds of treatment for the blood parasite that was found in February; another blood analysis will be performed in early March to see if treatment needed to be continued. The bird hasn’t been eating on her own for the past few nights, but readily eats when tease-fed.

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: February 20, 2015

Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 continues to surprise the staff with her progress and improvements. The bird is perching well and eating whole food, and the veterinary team has also noted that the bird’s harsh lung sounds have slowly improved. While the hawk still occasionally breathes hard during treatments, the staff have been able to wean her off of supplemental oxygen while being handled. The bird continues to receive oxygen therapy in the Center’s critical care chamber, but Dr. Meghan and Dr.

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: February 10, 2015

Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 continues to recover from lead poisoning. Last week, Critter Cam viewers were able to watch the treatment of this hawk on the debut of “Hospital Cam”; viewers watched as Dr. Helen removed the ball bandages from the hawk’s feet and tested the bird’s digits for a deep pain response. The hawk currently has a deep pain response in all but one toe. That day, Dr. Helen decided to leave the hawk’s bandages off to see how the bird moved in her crate. The staff were all pleased to see that the hawk was able to perch on her own.

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: February 3, 2015

During the week of January 26, Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 developed respiratory issues; when the bird was removed for daily treatments, she would begin struggling for breath after just a few seconds of being handled. Dr. Meghan suspects this could be an issue secondary to the lead toxicity, and could also be due to the hawk’s limited movement and inability to stand. A course of anti-fungal medication was prescribed. Treatment continued, though the veterinary staff were growing concerned over the lack of improvement.

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: January 23, 2015

The veterinary team began another round of chelation therapy on Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 on January 21; after this five-day course of treatment is over, another in-house lead test will be performed.

On January 10, a mature Red-tailed Hawk was found down in a field in Page County. The bird was easily captured and was taken to Fort Valley Wildlife Center before it was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the morning of January 13.

Latest Update: January 19, 2015

Over the weekend, Red-tailed Hawk #15-0021 remained bright and alert, although still unable to stand. The hawk’s feet have remained clenched since admission and while the veterinary team performs physical therapy on the bird every day, the vets also decided to place ball bandages on the hawk’s feet. This allows the bird to keep her feet in a somewhat normal position and prevents a self-inflicted talon injury.

Great Horned Owlet #15-0281

On April 11, a Great Horned Owlet was admitted to the Wildlife Center after it was found in the middle of the road in Albemarle County, Virginia.

The owlet’s rescuers called the Wildlife Center for advice and attempted to re-nest the young bird. They placed the Great Horned Owlet in a basket and secured it to a high branch of nearby tree located across the street from their home. After several hours of careful observation, there was still no sign of the parents. The Great Horned Owl was removed from the tree and transported to the Wildlife Center that evening.

Latest Update: April 21, 2015

Great Horned Owlet #15-0281 is doing well with its surrogate dad – Papa G’Ho and the owlet have been seen perching close to each other, and the owlet is getting its fair share of food. 

Black Bear cub #15-0292

The Wildlife Center of Virginia admitted another Black Bear cub on the morning of April 13. The male cub was found in Albemarle County on April 8; the cub spent time in a tree for two days with no sign of the sow before a homeowner intervened and caught the bear.

Dr. Meghan Feeney, the Center’s veterinary intern, examined the bear shortly after his admission. The cub weighed in a 3.35 kg and was bright, alert, and vocalizing. No injuries were found; the bear was mildly dehydrated.

Latest Update: April 17, 2015

Both bear cubs are doing well at the Wildlife Center. The new “brothers” were introduced to one another on Tuesday, April 14; the cubs are getting along well. Cub #15-0224 currently weighs 3.08 kg; cub #15-0292 [red ear tag] weighs 3.62 kg.

On Thursday, April 16, the cubs were moved to the Center’s Bear Pens. The cubs are primarily housed in a zinger crate, which is on top of a large heating element to keep the cubs warm at night.

Black Bear #15-0224

On April 3, a homeowner in Shenandoah County found a small bear cub wandering in his yard.

Latest Update: April 17, 2015

Both bear cubs are doing well at the Wildlife Center. The new “brothers” were introduced to one another on Tuesday, April 14; the cubs are getting along well. Cub #15-0224 currently weighs 3.08 kg; cub #15-0292 [red ear tag] weighs 3.62 kg.

On Thursday, April 16, the cubs were moved to the Center’s Bear Pens. The cubs are primarily housed in a zinger crate, which is on top of a large heating element to keep the cubs warm at night.

On April 3, a homeowner in Shenandoah County found a small bear cub wandering in his yard.

Latest Update: April 9, 2015

Dr. Kelli reports that Black Bear cub #15-0224 is doing well; the bear is taking his bottle well and currently weighs 2.5 kg. DGIF Black Bear Project Leader Jaime Sajecki reports that biologists checked a number of den sites, none was active with bear present. At this time of year, most bear families are now out foraging for spring foods. It’s the time of year to be “bear aware”! 

Common Loon #15-0189

On March 25, an adult female Common Loon was found down on a road in Goshen, Virginia. The loon’s rescuer was able to capture the bird and quickly transported her to the Wildlife Center for assessment and care.

Latest Update: April 17, 2015

Common Loon #15-0189 continued daily swim sessions during the past few days; the length of the swimming sessions increased everyday as the waterproofing of the feathers continued to improve. At the end of the day on April 16, Dr. Helen checked on the loon and found the bird’s feathers to be in great condition; the decision was made to keep the loon in the swimming tank overnight. Because loons are water birds and spend nearly all of the time in water [except for mating/incubating eggs], staying in the tank for 24 hours was a criteria for release.

On March 25, an adult female Common Loon was found down on a road in Goshen, Virginia. The loon’s rescuer was able to capture the bird and quickly transported her to the Wildlife Center for assessment and care.

Latest Update: April 14, 2015

After discussions with several colleagues in the field who regularly work with loons, the Center staff decided to bathe Common Loon #15-0189 to improve the condition of her feathers. On Friday, April 10, the loon was bathed in two separate dilute Dawn baths; this protocol is used for oiled birds and helps remove all residue from the bird’s feathers. The Center purchased a cage dryer, which was set up in the loon’s enclosure to help quickly dry the bird’s feathers. The loon did well throughout this process and was seen preening her feathers.

On March 25, an adult female Common Loon was found down on a road in Goshen, Virginia. The loon’s rescuer was able to capture the bird and quickly transported her to the Wildlife Center for assessment and care.

Latest Update: April 8, 2015

During the past week, Common Loon #15-0189 has been eating fairly well and has gained weight since admission; however, the loon has been reduced to shorter swimming session due to a decline in waterproofing of the feathers. Several adjustments were made to the loon’s housing; the substrate on which the loon sits when it is not swimming has been changed. The rehab staff also began moving the loon to a larger playpen during the day so that the bird has more room to preen and maintain her feathers.

On March 25, an adult female Common Loon was found down on a road in Goshen, Virginia. The loon’s rescuer was able to capture the bird and quickly transported her to the Wildlife Center for assessment and care.

Latest Update: March 30, 2015

Common Loon #15-0189 has been making slight improvements throughout the weekend, though still remains in guarded condition. The staff noted some improvements in the loon’s blood work when another analysis was performed; the loon also appears to be brighter.

The loon continues to swim twice each day, and during the swimming sessions, the staff offer a diet of fish. The bird is readily eating, so the tube-feeding diet has been decreased to once a day. The loon is preening and is maintaining her waterproof feathers.

Eastern Screech-Owl #15-0047

On January 20, an adult Eastern Screech-owl was found after it was hit by a vehicle in Botetourt County. The bird was taken to a local permitted wildlife rehabilitator, who stabilized the bird and sent it to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on January 22.

Latest Update: March 25, 2015

On March 24, the rehabilitation staff began exercising Eastern Screech-Owl #15-0047. The owl did fairly well for its first day of exercise, especially after its recovery from both wing and eye injuries; the staff report that the bird flew a total of nine times perch-to-perch in the yard of the B-pens. The owl grounded several times, and needs to work on height and stamina, but daily exercise sessions will allow the owl to build flight muscles again.

On January 20, an adult Eastern Screech-owl was found after it was hit by a vehicle in Botetourt County. The bird was taken to a local permitted wildlife rehabilitator, who stabilized the bird and sent it to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on January 22.

Latest Update: February 20, 2015

Eastern Screech-Owl #15-0047 has been healing well since its eye evisceration surgery. The incision site is healing well and the owl is readily eating on its own. The veterinary team continued physical therapy on the owl’s injured wing every three days, and on February 19, took follow-up radiographs. Dr. Meghan noted that the owl’s scapular fracture has healed well and the bird will soon be ready to move outside.

Barred Owlet #14-1179

On June 11, a young Barred Owlet was admitted to the Center after it was found on the ground in Ashe County, North Carolina. During the initial exam, the owlet was very bright, alert, and feisty. Veterinary staff found a small bump on the right side of bird’s beak [likely a callous from an old fracture], some old scabbing on both feet, and evidence of minor blunt head trauma indicated by small amounts of blood in its left eye. A fecal sample revealed the presence of some internal parasites, and the Barred Owlet was started on antibiotics and anti-parasitic medication.

Latest Update: March 17, 2015

During the winter months, Barred Owlet #14-1179 remained housed with Mama BADO. Throughout the winter, only paid staff entered the bird’s flight pen to feed, clean, and perform feet and feather checks on both birds.

On June 11, a young Barred Owlet was admitted to the Center after it was found on the ground in Ashe County, North Carolina. During the initial exam, the owlet was very bright, alert, and feisty. Veterinary staff found a small bump on the right side of bird’s beak [likely a callous from an old fracture], some old scabbing on both feet, and evidence of minor blunt head trauma indicated by small amounts of blood in its left eye. A fecal sample revealed the presence of some internal parasites, and the Barred Owlet was started on antibiotics and anti-parasitic medication.

Latest Update: September 25, 2014

Barred Owlets #14-0668 and 14-1179 have been eating well and growing at the Center during the summer. Both owls are looking much more like adults – at times, it can be hard to distinguish between them and their surrogate Barred Owl mother.

Eastern Box Turtle #14-2326

On November 1, a homeowner in Lynchburg found an adult Eastern Box Turtle in her yard – its carapace [upper shell] was entirely painted with pink latex paint! The turtle was taken to a local permitted wildlife rehabilitator, and was transferred to the Wildlife Center on November 15.

Latest Update: January 8, 2015

Eastern Box Turtle #14-2326 has been doing well so far this winter. After just two weeks of scrubbing, the turtle began looking more like herself; fortunately the latex paint was easy to remove. By mid-December, the daily scrubs and baths were no longer needed.

Bald Eagle #14-1040

At approximately 3:00 pm on June 3, a Bald Eagle was admitted to the Wildlife Center. Wildlife rehabilitator Diana O’Connor transported the bird to the Center after it was found down on the ground at a power plant in King George County.

Latest Update: January 2, 2015

On January 2, the veterinary team decided to move Bald Eagle #14-2406 to flight pen A2. Because the bird is consistently eating and his wounds have healed well, the team wanted to observe the bird in a larger space.

At approximately 3:00 pm on June 3, a Bald Eagle was admitted to the Wildlife Center. Wildlife rehabilitator Diana O’Connor transported the bird to the Center after it was found down on the ground at a power plant in King George County.

Latest Update: July 24, 2014

After six days of living in the A1 flight pen, Bald Eagle #14-1040 appeared to be unable to fly to any moderately high perches. The eagle was often observed either on a short A-frame perch, or on the ground. On July 21, the eagle was caught up and anesthetized for radiographs. The veterinary team found several abnormalities in the eagle’s right carpal [wrist] region, including evidence of ligament damage and changes within the bone of the joint.

At approximately 3:00 pm on June 3, a Bald Eagle was admitted to the Wildlife Center. Wildlife rehabilitator Diana O’Connor transported the bird to the Center after it was found down on the ground at a power plant in King George County.

Latest Update: July 15, 2014

On July 15, Bald Eagle #14-1040 was moved to a larger enclosure – flight pen A1. The eagle was doing well in a small outdoor enclosure, and the rehabilitation staff felt the bird would do well in a larger space at this point in the rehabilitation process. The eagle’s amputated toe is healed and the bird has been perching well; Dr. Rich cleared the eagle to be moved to a larger flight pen.

At approximately 3:00 pm on June 3, a Bald Eagle was admitted to the Wildlife Center. Wildlife rehabilitator Diana O’Connor transported the bird to the Center after it was found down on the ground at a power plant in King George County.

Latest Update: July 10, 2014

On June 25, Bald Eagle #14-1040 was moved outside to the Center’s C-pens [C6]. During the next few days, the veterinary staff performed daily checks on the bird’s partially amputated toe and noted that the surgery site was healing well and quickly. On June 28, Dr. Rich Sim removed the eagle’s bandage and found that the toe was completely healed.

At approximately 3:00 pm on June 3, a Bald Eagle was admitted to the Wildlife Center. Wildlife rehabilitator Diana O’Connor transported the bird to the Center after it was found down on the ground at a power plant in King George County.

Latest Update: June 26, 2014

On June 24, Bald Eagle #14-1040 had the sutures removed from its toe amputation. According to Dr. Rich Sim, the incision site was healing well, and was clean and healthy. The veterinary staff bandaged the bird’s toe; they’ll check the bandage daily and will change the bandage every three days. Bald Eagle #14-1040 has been eating well and was moved to the Center’s outdoor C-pens on June 25.  

At approximately 3:00 pm on June 3, a Bald Eagle was admitted to the Wildlife Center. Wildlife rehabilitator Diana O’Connor transported the bird to the Center after it was found down on the ground at a power plant in King George County.

Latest Update: June 16, 2014

After three days of tube-feeding, Bald Eagle #14-1040 showed improvement in attitude and appetite and progressed to eating a meal of chopped rat. The veterinary team continued to provide daily flushing and laser therapy sessions to the eagle’s injured toe, but on June 9, joint fluid from the eagle’s left toe was present, and the veterinary staff determined that the eagle would require a partial amputation of its toe.

Bald Eagle #15-0355

On April 18, an adult female Bald Eagle was found on the side of the road in Alexandria, Virginia. The Fairfax Police transported the eagle to a local animal clinic where the staff cleaned the eagle’s wounds, administered fluids, and provided pain medication. The eagle was transported and admitted to the Wildlife Center as patient #15-0355 on April 19.

Bald Eagle #11-1170

On Friday, April 17, the Wildlife Center admitted a four-year-old Bald Eagle – a bird that was a former patient at the Wildlife Center. Bald Eagle #11-1170 was first admitted to the Wildlife Center in June 2011, after she fell from her nest as a young bird. The eagle had damage to her tail feathers, which healed and grew back during the course of that summer. The bird was released at Mason Neck State Park in August 2011.

Black Bear cub #15-0354

The Wildlife Center admitted another male Black Bear cub on Sunday, April 19 – bringing the current cub count to three! This cub was found on the side of the road by a citizen in Bath County, Virginia. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries contacted the Wildlife Center and requested transport.

Dr. Meghan Feeney, the Center’s veterinary intern, examined the cub when he arrived. The cub had no injuries, and was very vocal. Blood work was within normal limits. The cub weighed 2.48 kg; he was marked with a yellow ear tag.