Campus clubs gather acorns for local Wildlife Center

No doubt about it, Blue Ridge Community College loves animals. We love the cuddly, furry, domesticated ones, but we also have a soft spot for the ones that it’s not always easy to love, the ones often misunderstood—like bats.  

Nuts and Bats: Vet Tech Adventures

Mon Dec 2, 2019 at 11:07 AM

Campus clubs gather acorns for local Wildlife Center

No doubt about it, Blue Ridge Community College loves animals. We love the cuddly, furry, domesticated ones, but we also have a soft spot for the ones that it’s not always easy to love, the ones often misunderstood—like bats. At the request of the Veterinary Technology Department and Vet Tech Club and supported by Cultural Affairs, Leslie Sturges, a bat rehabilitator, presented a lecture and introduced many in the campus community to Curly and Kerfuffle, two live bat ambassadors (non-releasable bats) from the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Bat ambassador from the Wildlife Center of VirginiaSturges, who rehabilitates about 100 bats a year, regaled attendees with a host of fascinating bat facts, such as bats are the only mammal that flies; there are 1,400 species of bats; and they have a high social intelligence, on par with crows, elephants, and humans. Bats are crucial in our agricultural region because they feed on the insects that damage crops, and therefore, conservation efforts are extremely important.

To a chorus of “oohhs, ahhs, and awwws,” Sturges brought out Curly and Kerfuffle one at a time from their dark, cozy sacks, and held them in her gloved hands under a magnifying camera lens for all to get a good look at these beneficial and endangered creatures. The two ambassadors received a couple of mealworm treats as a reward.

On a different day, members of the Vet Tech Club and the Dream, Believe, Achieve Club walked around campus collecting 26 pounds of acorns, which were donated to the Wildlife Center to feed bears, squirrels, birds, deer, cottontail rabbits, and many more species. Acorns provide a much-needed fat source for all of these animals. In addition to securing donations for the Wildlife Center, the DBA Club also accepted donations for the Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center.

In other Vet Tech success news, 2019 graduate Lydia Poland was accepted into a highly competitive position as an intern at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Poland is one of only four interns, continuing her education at a prestigious vet school. She also wrote an op-ed about her educational experiences at Blue Ridge on an extremely popular veterinary blog site published by Dr. Andy Roark.