Animal AmbassadorsAnimal Ambassadors

Animal Ambassadors

In addition to treating and releasing injured and orphaned wildlife, the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute is home to many permanent residents - our non-releasable education animals.

Each education animal at The Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute at Lees-McRae College has a story behind it. All but three started out functioning in the wild, but something happened (usually human induced) that caused injuries severe enough that it could no longer survive in the wild. Our goal is to make their lives here as comfortable as possible, physically and mentally. This means they have proper caging, nutritional food and vitamins, a companion of their own kind when possible, and periodic checkups by a veterinarian.

Meet our Animal Ambassadors


Ladybird is a Red-tailed Hawk and she has the saddest story of them all. She suffered a gunshot wound to her wing, and her metacarpals were shattered.


Cloudfeather is a partial Albino Red-tailed Hawk, he was hit by a car and suffered a wing fracture and eye damage.