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HomeWildlife2021 Yr in Overview: Mac Stewart, Wildlife Rehabilitator

2021 Yr in Overview: Mac Stewart, Wildlife Rehabilitator


It’s time to look again on 2021! Examine our weblog between Christmas and New Yr’s for a wide range of tales and recollections of 2021 from the workers and volunteers of the Wildlife Heart of Virginia.

I’ve solely been on the Wildlife Heart for about three months, however in a short while, I’ve been in a position to share experiences with so many new species that I’ve by no means labored with earlier than. A brand new species for me, specifically, are Black Bears. Our 5 Black Bear cubs had lengthy since moved outdoors within the Bear Advanced by the point I arrived, so they’re fully hands-off by way of care, however we nonetheless go as much as their yard twice a day to feed them. We attempt to hold the bear yards as pure as doable, which permits many different species to benefit from the vegetation and spend time amongst the bears. In my day by day journeys up there, I’ve seen different animals exploring the yard for leftover meals scraps or simply hanging out within the bushes – wild guests together with vultures, squirrels, many passerines, and a really particular opossum. I’ve seen this opossum making its manner across the enclosure just a few instances, normally simply minding its personal enterprise.

One morning in early December, I observed the bears had been very intrigued by one thing and as I acquired nearer, I noticed the opossum scurrying throughout the yard towards a tree. It shortly climbed the tree to flee, however with the cubs being as curious as they’re, they surrounded the underside of the tree, and cub #21-0545 (Double Lavender) felt daring sufficient to climb up the tree to get a better look.

 

One unbelievable factor about bears is that by some means they handle to climb even the smallest bushes, although it appears unattainable to help their weight. The opossum was holding on on the very finish of this small tree, which started to bend and sway with the load of Double Lavender. Every of her advances up the tree would shake the opossum, inflicting him to have to regulate his grip in order to not fall to the bottom the place the 4 different bears had been anxiously ready.

 

I stood on the surface of the fence, watching in worry as to what would occur subsequent. Abruptly, I gasped as I noticed the opossum lastly lose his maintain on the tree and fall to the bottom. I feel the bears had been as shocked as I used to be as a result of they only stood staring because the opossum stared again. After a couple of minutes of silence, in typical bear cub trend, they wandered off to seek out one thing else to play with. The opossum was free to run off and conceal in a tree cavity, secure ultimately.

  

I’ve not seen the opossum since, however I count on he’s been slightly stealthier when on the lookout for meals to keep away from any extra bear encounters.

— Mac Stewart, Wildlife Rehabilitator

Try all of our year-in-review posts!

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