Blue Ridge Wildlife Center sees over 20 percent intake jump

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The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Boyce has the goal to rescue, rehabilitate and release each animal that comes through their doors.

The center’s executive director says the number of animals being brought in is higher than ever. 

“At this point I don’t know if it’s more animals are being injured, or if it’s that more people are aware that when they come upon an injured animal, that they can bring it to us,” Hillary Davidson said. 

One of the reasons the center is seeing an influx of animals is the weather.

“When it rains, the guys are out and active more. These guys are crossing more streets and over 90 percent of our aquatic turtles are hit by car patients,”  Director of Veterinarian Services Jen Riley said. “We had about a 200 percent increase in aquatic turtles things like painted turtles, and with snapping turtles there was a 500 percent increase.”

Riley says some illnesses that animals developed previously from mosquito-born illnesses are showing up to their doors now, like West Nile virus and blood parasites in birds.

A constant concern for the center is paying for all of the treatment.

For just one turtle, “one treatment of medication can be upwards of $50,” Davidson said. 

Ahead of Giving Tuesday, the center has developed a campaign to encourage donations to in the form of time, money or items. The campaign is called “Keep all of our aquatic patients wet and wild.” 

The campaign donations will “make sure that we can buy new enclosure kind of materials tubs, closures, materials, things that will  help us limit or water usage, give them better care.” Riley said. 

Online donations made to the wildlife center will be matched by Facebook and PayPal, as well as supporters of the center who have agreed to make matching contributions. 

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