Meet Our Animal Ambassadors!
Volunteers for Wildlife's center is the permanent home for 25 wildlife ambassadors with disabilities that prevent their release to the wild.
These animal ambassadors are an integral part of our educational programming and help us to inspire the public to love and protect our native species.
Click on their photos to read their stories!
Meet Our Ambassadors!
Amelia, a female American Kestrel, was admitted to our center in 2013. Amelia had been found as an imprinted juvenile in Queens. Due to her unnatural associations with people, she is unable to be released to the wild.
Marcus was admitted to our hospital in 2003 after he unfortunately became entangled in fishing line at a marina. The line cut deeply into the soft tissues of his wing which impacts his flight ability.
Mama, an adult female Great Horned Owl, is our oldest resident raptor at our center! Mama was admitted to our center in 1991 after she was confiscated from an individual who was keeping her illegally. Mama had a broken wing when brought to our center and she is now a partial wing amputee.
Lucky Lady became an ambassador at our center in 2001. An unfortunate collision with a vehicle badly damaged her left eye. The eye, which needed to be removed, was completely blind. This would impact Lady's ability to hunt in the wild.
Baby is a 19 year old Red-tailed Hawk. Unfortunately, Baby is imprinted on people and is unable to be released to the wild.
Duncan, a sixteen year old Eastern Screech Owl, was admitted to our hospital from the Central Park Screech Owl Reintroduction Project. For reasons that are not entirely clear, Duncan had been struggling to hunt and survive outside.
Orlando, a ten year old Eastern Screech Owl, came to our hospital as a pint sized baby in 2009. Orphaned by unnecessary human intervention, Orlando was separated from his family during tree work and illegally raised by his finder. Orlando is tame and cannot be released to the wild.
Solomon, a ten year old Barred Owl, came to our center in 2009 from Destin, Florida! Solomon had been hit by a car which blinded him in his right eye. Unfortunately, his eye injury rendered him non-releasable due to inability to hunt.
Phineas, a 24 year old American Crow, is a favorite of visitors to our center! Phineas was found as a baby in 1995 and kept illegally as a pet for 15 years. In 2010, his finders surrendered him to our center. Phineas loves the company of people and therefore is not a candidate for release back outside.
Jasper, a Northern Diamondback Terrapin, was brought to our hospital in 2015. Her finder kept both Jasper (and her sister Jade) after finding them as hatchlings in her backyard. These turtles became very acclimated to people in their time kept and cannot be released to the wild.
Jade, a Northern Diamondback Terrapin, was brought to our hospital in 2015. Her finder kept both Jade and her sister Jasper after finding them as hatchlings in her backyard. These turtles became very acclimated to people in their time kept and cannot be released to the wild.
Rosie is a female Eastern Box Turtle who has called our center her home since 2005. An unfortunate run in with a predator left Rosie missing her left eye.
Hercules, a male Eastern Box Turtle, was the unfortunate victim of a "turtle-napping." Hercules was picked up by a member of the public and brought to a veterinarian's office for care. He cannot be released to the wild as we do not know his origin.
Trixie, a male Eastern Box Turtle, was brought to our center by a member of the public in 2005. Trixie had become ill after having been kept illegally as a pet for 5 years. Now healthy, Trixie cannot be released due to a permanent shell deformity which prevents him from closing his shell.
Hatch, a male Eastern Box Turtle, has resided at our center since 2009. A permanent deformity to his shell renders him non-releasable to the wild.
Nine, a female Eastern Box Turtle, was the unfortunate victim of a "turtle-napping." Nina was picked up by a member of the public and brought to a veterinarian's office for care. She cannot be released to the wild as we do not know her origin.
Sheldon is a pint-sized Musk Turtle! He was found abandoned in a box outside of a pet-store in Queens. As we do not know Sheldon's history, he cannot be released back home.
Wyatt, a nine year old Eastern Gray squirrel, has resided at our center since August of 2009. Wyatt was found as a one week old baby with severe head trauma. Unfortunately, his injuries caused permanent deficits in his coordination and balance.
Sully is a Virginia Opossum admitted to our hospital in 2020, missing most of his tail. Opossums have a prehensile tail which is used as an extra limb for climbing and grasping things, as well as generating scents to mark their territory. Sully’s missing tail puts him at a significant disadvantage in the wild and he is therefore non-releasable.
Lucille is the newest ambassador at Volunteers for Wildlife! This eight month old opossum was admitted to our center as an orphan. Unfortunately, Lucille has a brain anomaly which impacts her coordination and renders her unable to survive in the wild.
Ezzy is a domestic breed of duck called a Muscovy. While we do not typically admit domestic animals to our hospital, Ezzy came to us from someone who thought he was wild back in 2011. He was found abandoned at a local park with a severe leg injury. Ezzy helps us to teach people about the impact of releasing pets to the wild.
Ping is a male Mallard duck that raised illegally by people and cannot be released outside. He has a condition called Angel Wing, the result of being fed an improper diet of human foods as a young baby.
Tabitha is a Eurasian Collared Dove. Collared Doves are not wild here in NY, but sometimes are kept as pets. Tabitha is a pet bird found abandoned outside. She lives at our center as a companion to our ambassador Mourning Dove, Timothy!
Timothy, a Mourning Dove, was found approaching people in the wild in 2018. While we do not know Timothy's exact history, we suspect somebody tried to raise him as a pet and then let him go. Timothy cannot be released due to his acclimation to people.
Mikey is a 13 year old Corn Snake! Mikey is actually a captive bred pet snake. We adopted him in 2007 to join our ambassador family. Mikey helps us teach the public that snakes are an asset to the environment and should not be feared!