The fall semester of classes is officially over at Lees-McRae College! Only final exams stand in the way of the students’ return home for the holidays and winter break, and I’m sure that all my fellow Bobcats are proud of this semester’s academic and athletic achievements.
In particular, I want to shine the spotlight on the students in Intro to Wildlife Rehabilitation. Their efforts over the past few months have made a difference in the lives of many animals! Let’s take a look at just a few of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute’s successful patient stories from the past semester.
- The gray squirrels that students diligently raised from helpless orphans have grown up and been successfully released!
- We released a large number of songbirds, some who were orphaned during the summer and others who fell on hard times during the fall. Students rehabilitated cedar waxwings, hermit thrushes, northern mockingbirds, mourning doves and many more.
- Several big raptors were released, including a Great Horned Owl and a red-tailed hawk!
- Students gained experience with waterfowl and got to experience the successful release of several ducks at Lees-McRae’s own historic millpond.
- A lost and injured racing pigeon was cared for by students and will soon be reunited with his owner…who lives all the way in Pennsylvania!
Of course, not all cases have happy endings. Students at BRWI have experienced the sadness that accompanies the loss of our animal patients. And there are bittersweet outcomes as well, including the transfer of rehabilitated but non-releasable animals to permanent homes at other facilities.
Still, with many animals still in residence at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute, we are crossing our fingers for more successful releases as we near the end of the year. One thing is certain, however: The Institute couldn’t do its great work without the efforts of all its dedicated students. They’re the ones who clean cages, prepare a huge amount of food, and get cold and dirty in order to give these animals the best of care.
Here’s to you guys and all your hard work!