Non-invasive research is an important part of our mission at Wolf Hollow. Over the years we have carried out a number of projects to gather information to help us improve our standards of animal care and increase post- release survival rates in animals we rehabilitate.
Some of these research projects have involved comparing diets for songbirds during their time in our care and investigating the causes of deformities in deer fawns in our local area.
Marine Mammal Research Projects
In 2003-2008 funds awarded through the John H Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program have enabled us to carry out research projects related to the Harbor Seal pups we care for each summer. This has included the collection and analysis of data on blood values and bacterial infections in these pups.In 2003 and 2004, Wolf Hollow undertook a retrospective research project that examined culture and sensitivity data from rehabilitated Harbor Seals over a twelve year period. The resulting paper was published in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine in September 2006.We examined cases where culture and sensitivity tests were performed to determine bacteria present and their antibiotic resistance. Many of these samples were from wounds, nasal discharge, eye and ear infections and umbilical infections that seals had upon admission. The results enable us to better predict the type of antibiotic that will be effective against infections in different parts of the body, thereby improving our treatment abilities. It is still important to perform bacterial testing of an infected area to ensure that the chosen antibiotic is effective. We are continuing to examine current data to monitor any changes in antibiotic resistance or types of bacteria found.