26 April 2016
Located in Shipman, in Nelson County, the sanctuary has been rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing orphaned and injured wildlife back into the wild since 2004. Founder Nathou Attinger, deeply dedicated to helping wildlife, began rescuing and rehabilitating with a crow named Merlin. This is how most wildlife rehab stories begin. Merlin remained with Attinger for three years until she died of a spider bite but Attinger’s philosophy and what she learned from a crow with an injured wing was “do whatever you can to maximize the comfort and level of care of the animal you are trying to help.”
Cole is a biologist who understands the needs of the animals they are helping. “Last year we cared for 665 animals at the sanctuary,” said Cole. The year before, it was 750 animals. She tells the story of a crew clearing timber that discovered baby Grackles (birds) in the trees and went around and collected all the babies they could find and brought them to the sanctuary. “We had to feed them every 20-30 minutes around the clock,” she said.
She discussed some of the animals that had been rehabbed and released back into the wild, including a baby coyote. Cole added that is now illegal to rehab coyotes.
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