Zoe Carroll of Earlysville, Va., and Robert Bilbow of Rocky Mount, Va., both junior wildlife science majors, spent this past summer interning at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Boyce, Va., where they helped nurse injured and abandoned animals back to health so they could return to the wild. The majority of the interns’ time was dedicated to baby birds, which had to be handfed every half hour. Carroll and Bilbow also kept track of the birds’ weights and cleaned their enclosures, as well as caring for other animals like baby rabbits, turtles, and opossums.

“One of the most rewarding parts of working at the center was seeing the young animals grow up and become healthy,” explained Carroll. “It was amazing to know they were on their way to being released back into the wild.”

The two students worked with up to four other interns each day. “It’s hard work,” said Bilbow. “The rehabilitators have to take their work home with them sometimes because baby animals must be cared for 24 hours a day.”

“Rehabilitation is difficult, but rewarding,” stated Carroll. “It’s hard to see animals die, but it’s also great to see others being released. Through my internship, I was able to learn so many things about wildlife, handling animals, game department laws,
and natural history.”

Carroll was featured in an NBC News story on the wildlife center, one of only two such facilities in the state (http://www. msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/vp/47987222#47987222).