Newsletter Archive

Wild Bunch Wildlife Rehabilitation Newsletter -- September, 2003

Wild Bunch wishes to give you a brief update of our activities during the month of September. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Virginia organization devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of native wildlife. 83 acres have been developed in the Northern Neck of Virginia near the Rappahannock River to serve as our refuge. The officers and directors are Erika Yery, Pat Crusenberry, Diana O'Connor, Charlene DeVol and Bonnie Brown.

This past month, at the refuge, Diana received 3 rabbits, 1 coopers hawk, 1 ring neck dove, 1 cardinal, 1 turtle, 1 finch, 7 squirrels and 1 dove and 1 great horned owl. Most of the residents have been released, and we anticipate that the majority will have been reintroduced to the wild by the end of October. A small number will be wintered over, as they were born too late in the season, and will be released in the spring. As the season draws to an end we reflect back on the past season, and all the good and bad that came with it. We remember the heartbreak of losing those animals that could not be saved. We also cherish the reward of successfully rehabilitating the many birds, mammals and reptiles that have been given a chance to live out their lives as Mother Nature intended. That is a gift to us as well as to the animals.

As with so many areas in Virginia, the refuge sustained some damage by Hurricane Isabel. A pole barn, housing equipment and supplies that was already in poor shape, was blown down. Several large trees were uprooted, along with many smaller trees and branches. These fallen trees will help create new habitat for the wildlife. We were very fortunate in that our main buildings and cages remained untouched, with the exception of the loss of electricity and water for several days. There is much clean up to be done, but we are grateful that the animals are safe.

We wish to notify you that the refuge will be modifying its services from October until next spring. Although the refuge will be open, we will not be accepting animals for rehabilitation because Diana O'Connor, who continues to manage the refuge, will be undergoing long overdue joint surgery. This necessitates a long recuperation period, but will allow her to reestablish rehabilitation activities in the spring. During this time, volunteers will be spending the fall and winter months completing the placement of new caging and working on the much needed repair and renovation of our outbuildings and cages. Now that the animals do not require full time care, we can devote our attention to improvements at the refuge. Callers who have animal emergencies or problems will be directed to other rehab facilities or individuals in the area. The groups that we currently work with have been notified of our temporary status change and will be available to help. Along with Erika, in the Northern Virginia area, there are a number of other options available and no animal problem will be left unsolved.

This month our website is featuring Nocturnal Wild Neighbors. This can be found in our True Stories link. Most people would be surprised to learn how much wildlife, of many species, closely share their environment. As these animals are primarily active only at night, we can tune in to the different sounds that can be heard to give us an idea of the many different creatures that are around us. Spend some time trying to observe our nightly creatures and you will be greatly rewarded.

Please visit our website at to find out more about our refuge and the work we do, as well as how to contact us and make donations. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. As always, we are grateful for the generous donations we have received. Your support has made it possible to continue to build a wildlife rehab facility that can provide the care these animals deserve. If you would like any friends or relatives added to our list of newsletter recipients email us at The more people that know about us and can find ways to contribute to the well being of our native Virginia wildlife the better for all.