Please visit the internship section of our web site for further details.
Our final (we hope!) seal of the year was released back into the wild on October 27th. She was a late season surprise when she was brought to Wolf Hollow in early September. People who live near Eagle Cove on San Juan Island heard a pup crying on the shore and found this youngster tangled in fishing line, with a large hook imbedded in her front flipper. The San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network brought her to Wolf Hollow where we were able to remove the hook and treat other wounds on her nose, chest and tail. Although she was thin, Edison was alert, feisty and had a nice set of sharp teeth, so it didn’t take her long to work out how to eat fish on her own. After only 6 weeks of care she had grown from a skinny 19-pound pup to a fat, healthy 51-pound seal.
As of today, the Salish Sea Harbor seal pups will receive $15,220 due to your generous support. We are all truly humbled and grateful to all of you who contributed during this virtual opportunity and to everyone who has supported us along the way. The monetary support, in kind donations or your volunteer effort are all deeply appreciated.
The funds raised come just in time to purchase more fish, cover the doubled electricity bill and the veterinarian costs. A huge thank you to San Juan Island Community Foundation for developing this special opportunity for the community to come together to support nonprofits. Wolf Hollow is honored to be among such wonderful organizations helping people and animals.
We thank you again and again for supporting this life saving work!
Chanda Stone Executive Director
Shona Aitken Education Coordinator
Penny Harner Wildlife Rehabilitator
Abby Fuhriman Wildlife Rehabilitator
Marc Brown President – Board of Directors
Susan Waters Vice President – Board of Directors
Bex Bishop Secretary – Board of Directors
Chris Minney Board of Directors
Cindy Hansen Board of Directors
Sarah Boden Board of Directors
Albert Barsocchini Board of Directors
Have you ever seen a Bald Eagle that looks like this? In our 36 years of operation, we had never seen one with such pale cream/brown body and wing feathers. A bird like this is described as Leucistic. The pale coloration is a result of partial loss of pigmentation in the feathers. Its eyes and feet are the normal color, but the feathers are very pale.
This eagle was seen sitting on the ground in a field in Skagit County. One of our Animal Transport Volunteers was able to capture it and send it over to Wolf Hollow. In addition to its unusual color, there were other mysteries about the bird. It had a bulging crop, so it had just eaten an enormous meal, the feathers on its underside were matted and oily with what smelled like fryer oil, and it had swelling around one elbow. What had it been up to?
Luckily the wing injury was minor, so after a day to digest its meal we gave it a bath to clean the oily feathers and were able to move it into an outdoor enclosure. It quickly progressed to flying further and up to higher perches, so after just 6 days in care, the eagle was sent back for release. I’m sure many people were glad to see this distinctive bird back in its home area again.
Our first Harbor Seal pup of 2020 arrived at Wolf Hollow on May 31st. This is 3-4 weeks earlier than we usually see seal pups at the rehab center, because she came from Ocean Shores on the Olympic Peninsula where pupping season is earlier than it is around the San Juans.
She was seen alone for several days, and over the busy Memorial Day weekend, was constantly harassed by people trying to take photos or get her back into the water. A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist rescued the pup and took her to a vet clinic for initial care. When she arrived at Wolf Hollow, we discovered that she was emaciated (only weighed 14 pounds), dehydrated, had wounds on her flippers and had an umbilical infection, but she was active and had a very loud voice.
She started off in our seal nursery, being fed a special high-fat formula while she regained her strength, but has now progressed to swimming in a pool and learning to eat fish. Our naming theme this year is scientists, so she was named Fossey, after Dian Fossey, the American primatologist famous for her research on Mountain Gorillas.
Rylie grew up in Seattle and is proud to call Washington home. She began gaining wildlife rehabilitation experience in 2015 while attending Western Washington University, where she completed an interdisciplinary degree bringing Animal Husbandry and Wildlife Ecology together. During this time she volunteered many hours at Whatcom County Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehab Center and also completed their internship program. Rylie went on to do an internship at an accredited Wildcat Sanctuary, where she fulfilled her dream to work safely and professionally with big cats. Before finding her way to San Juan Island to pursue her next goal of earning a wildlife rehabilitation permit in WA, Rylie worked as a vet assistant with domestic felines. As our seasonal wildlife rehabber, Rylie will spend the next six months assisting other staff in animal care and training interns and volunteers.
Our first intern of 2020 is Shaelyn Campbell, who is currently a student at Washington State University, working towards her degree in Environmental Science, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Her animal care experience includes caring for family pets, showing goats for 4-H, working with horses and volunteering with WSU’s ungulate facility.
Our second intern, Zoe Halliday is also a student at Washington State University, pursuing a degree in Wildlife Ecology, with a minor in Forestry. She grew up on San Juan Island and has worked at a number of farms where she gained experience dealing with cows, sheep, chickens and goats. She has also cared for family pets, ranging from hedgehogs to snakes, and has many years of experience riding and training horses.
Victoria Robertson joined our intern team in mid-June. She is currently a student at Western Washington University, working towards a degree in Environmental Science, specializing in Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecology. Victoria has cared for a wide range of pets including fish, hamsters, dogs, rabbits and horses, throughout her life, and at an early age developed a reverence for the nature of wild places. She plans to go on to a career in wildlife ecology, focusing on conservation and restoration.
Alyssa Nelson joined us in late June, as our fourth intern of 2020. Her hometown is Mt Vernon, WA, but she is currently a senior at Oregon State University, where she will soon graduate with a degree in Animal Science, with a minor in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. Alyssa has a wide variety of animal experience, ranging from volunteering at an exotic animal rescue and at the university’s sheep center, to carrying out seabird behavior monitoring on the Oregon coast. She will be with us through till mid-October.
Our final intern of the year is Abby Severns, who arrived in mid-August and will be with us through till late October. Abby has just graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Environmental Science. Her wildlife-related experience includes being a research assistant observing Harbor Seal foraging strategies and behavior and taking part in a field class studying foxes on the Channel Islands in California.