Center for Wildlife Monthly E-newsletter

Change is Good
Some of our staff recently attended a workshop at the University of Southern Maine on the Theory of Change.  Using layman's terms, the Theory of Change is a methodology used in the not-for-profit sector as a tool to promote social change and action. To better understand how our critical work can take hold in our community and how to best use our limited resources, we asked the question of ourselves "what is the root problem we are trying to solve through our activities"?  The simple answer validates our mission, to provide a sustainable future for local wildlife.  The problem being that our current track and way of living is not sustainable.  

To that end, we have a lot of work to do promoting understanding of the inter-connectedness of human and wildlife/ecosystem health, reconnecting our indoor-centric society with the benefits of nature, and empowering people to minimize negative impacts on local wildlife and our planet.  We are thrilled to be doing this work with you, our community.  When you call our Wildlife Assistance Hotline 60 times per day, when you take action for an injured wild animal, when you attend our bat-box building workshops, and when you drive 6 hours round trip to give a family of orphaned woodchucks a beautiful place to live, we know that our work is making a systemic difference!  Read on for some inspiring stories from our work just this past month, and we hope to help you in the clinic or see you at a program, event, or tour soon.  
A Miracle Porcupette
Remember the porcupine with albinism that a neighborhood banded together to rescue this winter? Our white porcupine patient with albinism, affectionately named Betty White just gave birth to a beautiful and healthy porcupette. Betty White's resilience is unbelievably inspiring! She survived at least two winters being deaf and partially blind - and successfully mated! Betty was treated for skin and fungal issues this past winter and spring in our clinic.

One week ago, an intern went into her enclosure and saw TWO porcupines! At first, we thought it was a turf battle, only to find out that Betty had been in early stages of pregnancy when admitted. Her baby was born with soft quills which hardened within an hour. And true to the mystery of genetics, the baby does not share the albinism traits of its mom. The early hours after labor were uncertain, as Betty is not in the wild, so we didn't know if natural instincts and processes like nursing would be successful.

We are pleased to announce that both mom and baby are doing well, and will be with us for the next year at least. Mom is non-releasable due to her multiple disabilities, but we hope her baby can be released once old enough to survive on its own, and following the natural timeline when porcupines would be on their own in the wild.   We have placed this sensitive family in one of our most tranquil enclosures, and are making sure to offer them plenty of iron and calcium-rich foods to support nursing and development.

We are inspired by her story, and so amazed that between her rescuers and our incredible team we were able to save not one but two very special lives. We are so excited for this very first porcupine family at Center for Wildlife, that we have created a baby registry to support Betty and baby throughout the year! 

Mississippi Kite

Did you know that there was a pair of Mississippi kites breeding in our area? This pair are trailblazers as their Northern most summer breeding territory is usually South Carolina! In this time of a shifting climate many species are shifting or expanding their ranges in our lifetime including the sandhill crane, Carolina wren, and even mammals like the Virginia opossum. Click here to visit Cornell Lab of Ornithology's page on kites, and view a map of their typical range.  

The kite is in our Intensive Care Room, and our staff have stabilized the wing after X-Rays determined a fractured ulna mid-shaft. The radius and ulna run parallel to each other and the radius acts as a pin. It typically takes bird bones a little over 3 weeks to heal, and then just like when a human gets their cast off the kite will undergo physical therapy and regaining muscle. The difference is that while a human can deal with a limp or limited mobility for a little bit, a bird cannot go back to the wild without everything working in perfect order first so that they can hunt, evade predation, and in this case migrate to the Brazil region.

Mississippi kites are Accipitrids which means they hunt and fly quickly through their habitats. Kites typically hunt and even eat prey while flying. This lifestyle makes them extremely high strung, and very stressed in captivity. The kite will likely need to be force fed its entire stay with us. His prognosis remains guarded because of the long road of recovery and stress levels in captivity, but we are hopeful that we can get this incredible bird back to the wild.

Thank you to those that have donated toward this bird's care. Your gifts ensure that we can provide expert care for not only the kite but the almost 2,000 injured and orphaned wild animals that are brought to our door each year.
Our Education Program is Exploding!

Our offsite, ecology based programs are booked out months in advance.  Our Education & Outreach Committee attends events, helps with ambassador care, and secures in-kind donations like our new iron ranger.  We hold many public and private tours, programs, and events onsite each month.  Read on for highlights in education this month, and click here to learn more about our varied and custom offerings.     

Friends Forever
We were so lucky to have Friends Forever International come for a work project this month. This group from Friends Forever International. currently works with adolescents from the Arava, Haifa, and greater Nazareth regions. Each year, groups travel to the United States for the two-week Skill Building Phase of the program. Each delegation is comprised of five Jewish Israeli youth and five Arab Palestinian Israeli youth, an adult educator from each community, and one U.S.-based Site Manager.

The program provides the opportunity for the young people to connect with each other in an environment free from the usual pressure of home, while closely interacting with residents of their host communities. The intense two weeks in the U.S. forges bonds among the participants but also empowers the students to realize that friendship is possible with anyone from a different culture, religion, or ethnicity.
The students return home and hold a minimum of eight meetings, which are monitored for impact throughout the year. FFI alumni play a key role in making the recurring group sessions a success.

Our group that came to work at the Center came from Sisters of Nazareth School/Leo Baeck Education Center and the day was filled with laughter, 80's tunes being sung, translation and connection. The turtle enclosures were completed for our ambassadors, and the students were even able to put the turtles in their enclosures for their first visit! We had such an amazing time and look forward to working with Friends Forever again soon! Click here to learn more about this unique group. 

Onsite Tours and Gift Shop
Every Tuesday residents, vacationers, home-schoolers, and even elderly groups have filled up our Tuesday Afternoon Tour series.  The tour gives an overview of what our work in wildlife medicine and education mean for our community, meets live animal ambassadors up close, and takes a sneak peek into our work with orphaned wildlife. In addition we have our "Get Wise About Wildlife" Friday onsite program series, and partnership programs with Gateway to Maine Outside partners and our neighbors at Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region.  Visitors can "exit through the gift shop" and browse nature based and hand-made gifts from artisans in our community.  Click here to see whats coming up.  

Ambassador Spotlight- Violet
Violet came to us this past winter, from our colleagues at the Cape Wildlife Center.  She has a permanent injury to her shoulder which prevents her from being able to sustain flight.  Vultures are shy yet social animals, and it has been amazing to see her build up the courage to interact with us.  She now steps onto Sarah and Kristen's glove, and loves going for walks in the sun. She stretches out her wings to an almost 6 foot span to soak up the sun on all of her feathers.  She peeks out her window at groups gathered under the pavilion. And when offered food, she works up the nerve to run over and grab it.  We are honored that she is settling in and trusting us, and cannot wait to get her out on programs! 
Special Events

Bats, Bingo, and Birds at Smuttynose Brewing Company
Join us for a night of hanging out at one of our biggest sponsors, with some of our favorite winged friends, local craft beers, and of course, delicious, always locally sourced food from Smuttynose's very own Hayseed Restaurant. Our staff and non-releasable owl and bat ambassadors will host a few rounds of "bats%*t crazy bingo" and will challenge your brain with a wildlife spelling bee and trivia. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and includes two full beer pours. Don't miss the birds, bats, brews and giveaways, including a promo code good for 15% off online purchases!   Click here to reserve your spot today.  

Coast to Summit- 100+ Miles for Wildlife
A humble York resident approached us earlier this year to see if Center for Wildlife could be the recipients of a "small" adventure that would challenge athletes to make the trek from the coast to a summit.  Turns out this small adventure meant that participants ran, biked, and hiked from York Harbor to Mount Washington!  In addition to this tremendous feat, participants raised money for CFW and coordinated a pint night fundraiser at SOME in York.  Special thanks to Tom Cross for all of his hard work coordinating the event from start to finish, and his passion for our work and local wildlife. Cheers!

Upcoming Events

Friday, August 11th
Get Wise About Wildlife Series: Bug Squad Buddies and Bat House Building
385 Mountain Road, Cape Neddick ME
Did you know that a single big brown bat can eat over 1,000 mosquitos in an hour? Some little brown bats have been known to live 40 years! Come and learn about our amazing bug squad neighbors, meet some up close, and reserve your spot to make and take a bat house to put up at your home to help our bat friends! 

$5.00 donation per person for the program. If you wish to make and take a bat house, $20.00 donation to cover cost.  Please email our Education and Outreach Fellow, Katie, to reserve your spot today.  Click here for more information.  

Saturday, August 12th
Summer Stroll Tree ID with Mount Agamenticus
Mount A Learning Lodge
Learn the common names of popular tree species on a gentle stroll following the new Big A and Ring trails. We will take a second look at leaf evidence, bark, buds, seeds, and more to assist in identification. The Center for Wildlife will be joining for a live animal demonstration, including our resident porcupine, Henry! Come and learn about Henry's favorite foods like black birch, oak, hemlock, maple, and of course acorns.  Program and walk open to all ages; may break walk into two levels based on signups.

There is a $7 suggested donation.   Click here for more info. 
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