Newsletter Archive

Wild Bunch Wildlife Rehabilitation Newsletter -- January, 2004

Wild Bunch wishes to give you an update of our activities during the month of January. 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. In 2003 the refuge received and cared for more than 400 birds, mammals and reptiles. We feel quite proud to have accomplished what could sometimes be an overwhelming endeavor. Without the incredible knowledge and expertise of Diana O'Connor, these many animals would not have had a chance at survival.

As winter continues, we are busy preparing for the upcoming baby season. Diana O'Connor continues to recuperate; she is in great spirits and full of energy. New cages are being built at the refuge and supplies ordered to make sure we can handle the many animals that will come to us for care. Although no new animals have recently arrived, calls continue to come in regarding mangy foxes, squirrels in attics, bird situations, and people wishing to donate furs.

Our five bandits, in the form of raccoons, continue to winter over in an outdoor enclosure. They will be released in the spring and we know, will be extremely happy to get on with their lives in the wild. As the animals mature and near adult size, it is always a challenge to keep them occupied with new and interesting things. Raccoons are naturally inquisitive and get bored easily. We are always looking for new ways to enhance and enrich their activities. The recent addition of a hanging wooden bucket, intended as a child's toy, is a huge hit. While stuffed animals are great fun, they never last long since the raccoons simply cannot resist pulling out and scattering the stuffing.

Photos of the refuge and animals are now on The Refuge page. Simply click on an image to enlarge and view. There are links to some other excellent websites. One link in particular that we don't want you to miss is the Animal Planet Pet Psychic. Last May, Sonya Fitzpatrick interviewed a baby raccoon and baby fox that had been rescued from two very different but traumatic situations. This link has a wonderful video which shows how well they developed and were able to be released into the wild. It's a special testimony to the joys and rewards of rehabilitating these wild animals. Check out the new site and let us know what you think. We are extremely grateful to Kathy Doucette who filled in admirably these past few months as temporary Webmaster. Her time and efforts in maintaining the website were invaluable to us.

This month, under the True Story section of the Wild Bunch website, Bonnie Brown tells the story of Russell, a raccoon who came to us last Spring as a whimpering, one and one-half pound orphan and became an exuberant, irrepressible, never-to-be-forgotten member of our 2003 raccoon family. Although the article features Russell, it provides an inside look at the time, effort, and caring that go into the rehabbing of all our raccoon orphans. We think you will be amused by Russell's antics, will delight in the story of his release day, and will understand why we miss the mischievous little guy.

If you haven't yet, 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. 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.

As always, we are grateful for your many generous donations. Without the help of our fellow wildlife supporters, it would be impossible to rehabilitate the many species of animals that arrive at the refuge. We welcome any amount you are able to send our way.

May the New Year bring health, happiness and much success to you all!!