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.
Wolf Hollow is still open and willing to help wildlife!
With the recent Washington State “Stay Home Stay Healthy” mandate, we have made further changes to our operation, but we are still available to take care of injured and orphaned wildlife, and to answer your wildlife questions over the phone.
For at least the next 2 weeks staff members will be alternating who is on-site and on call, so that only one person is at the center each day. Staff will answer the regular 360-378-5000 number. If you call when we are not at the rehab center you will receive instructions on how to reach the on call staff person. We will be operating without on-site animal care volunteers.
We are asking people on San Juan Island to call ahead if they have an injured or orphaned wild creature so that we can gather all the necessary information over the phone and arrange to receive the animal while maintaining social distancing.
On other islands and the mainland, some vet clinics are willing to continue working with us and a limited number of animal transport volunteers are available to collect animals. They too will be taking precautions in order to minimize contact and reduce risks.
We realize that it will be more challenging to transport animals to our rehab center and to provide care with limited personnel, but we will do our best to maintain this essential service to wild creatures in need and to our local community.
With your help we’ll get through this and we’ll keep helping wildlife.
Celebrate Spring Wildlife
When so much is uncertain, it’s good to know that nature is continuing as normal. Spring is here, new, fresh leaves are sprouting, flowers are blooming and birds are singing. To celebrate the beauty of spring we invite you to share your photos of local wildlife. Whether you’re out for a walk, working in your yard, or watching from your window, take a moment to enjoy the antics of your local wild creatures, then take a photo and email it to us. We’ll share the best and funniest on our Facebook page and web site.
This is the time of year when many birds are arriving back in our area for the summer, so each week we’ll have a special category for photos of a particular bird, starting this week with the Rufous Hummingbird. To inspire you, we have included a photo taken by Richard Foxenberger a few years ago.
Please email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, and don’t forget to include your name and where and when you took the shot.
We look forward to seeing all your beautiful photos.