Look over the ambassadors and their short bios below, pick your favorite, and then fill out the following fields so we can get in contact with you about moving forward. Please allow up to 5 business days for conformation. WildCare Inc. greatly appreciates the kindness of its community members, without which we would not be able to operate!
- A personalized certificate of sponsorship
- One 5″x7″ full color photo of the ambassador
- Fact sheet about the sponsored ambassador
- Lots of our gratitude!
- All rewards from the previous tier
- Sticker of the sponsored ambassador
- A WildCare fridge magnet
- All rewards from the previous tier
- A piece of art created by the sponsored ambassador
- All rewards from the previous tiers
- A 1-minute personalized video message from the ambassador and one of their handlers – this can be tailored for birthdays, as a gift, etc.
- All rewards from the previous tiers
- Special meeting with the ambassador by scheduling a private tour
Val’s parents were rescued from the illegal pet trade, and as a mated pair found a new home at the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, where they lived together for the rest of their lives. Val was hatched in 2002, and was raised by experienced handlers so he would be happy and comfortable as an education ambassador. He was our first education ambassador here at the center. In the wild, only 20-30% of Western Barn Owls survive their first year, and past that their average lifespan is 4-5 years. In captivity, 10-12 years is typical. Valentino has vastly surpassed that, to everyone’s delight, and has reached his 20th birthday. This old man enjoys screeching for more mice, long walks on a glove, and looking pensively out the window.
Banshee the American Barn Owl came from a Master Falconer and licensed raptor propagator in West Virginia and is one of our youngest ambassadors. Despite being imprinted on humans her whole life, she’s still learning to meet new people, and will often try to scare new people away by throwing up her wings and shaking her head, a behavior known as toe-dusting. She enjoys pouncing on her enrichment items, and has a great sense of play.
When Felix was a baby, he was abducted from his nest by a 12-year-old boy, who attempted to keep him as a pet. Felix was raised in a house full of children and dogs, and grew up being fed by and socialized with humans. When he was around 5-6 weeks old, a DNR officer spotted the boy walking around town with Felix perched on his shoulder, and Felix was promptly brought into our care. By this point, Felix had already imprinted on people, making him non-releasable and unable to survive on his own. Felix is a fan favorite, and is packed with personality. He loves his mealworms and being around his training team. When Felix notices people talking about him or giving him lots of attention, he fluffs up and shakes in a happy dance.
Pippin is a Peregrine Falcon, one of the fastest raptors! He was brought to WildCare as a juvenile with a broken right wing. X-rays revealed that the injury was caused by gunshots. Pippin had his wing splinted and wrapped close to his body while it healed. He was still able to move it some, however the damage was too great for him to be able to fly. From the moment he came in, Pippin was curious and interested in our volunteers. He was a great addition to the education team, happily honking when he sees his trainers coming with food. He has an enclosure with many perches that he can walk along, as well as hopping between. He can hop at least 6 feet and almost 4 feet vertically!! Pippin, like the hobbit he was named after has a voracious appetite and would love to be fed 11 meals a day.
Kaos the Harris’s hawk was hatched with the intention of becoming a hunting companion for a licensed falconer. Kaos is incredibly headstrong and his eyes are bigger than his stomach. Kaos thought that he would be able to take on an adult Tom turkey on his own (who would weigh around 10x as much as him!). Kaos came out of that encounter unscathed, however his falconer decided that he would be much better suited to educational outreach instead of hunting. Kaos has a small team of trainers that are up to the challenge of working with such an intelligent raptor, and do not let him bully them around. Kaos loves getting toys that he can shred with his beak and long talons. He also has a sturdy jingle ball that he carries around with him!
Alastor fell out of the nest as a juvenile, where unfortunately a group of kids found him and beat him with rocks and sticks for several days. Another child found out and told their parent, and Al was quickly rushed to us. While his odds weren’t good, our veterinarian was able to perform experimental surgeries that he responded well to. Alastor is missing an eye, has a cross bill, and neurological damage, yet is still our smartest ambassador! He knows how to open toy locks, play the piano, dunk a ping pong ball into a net, and stack differently sized cups in order. He knows his team very well, and will caw incessantly for food or attention when he sees them around.
River is our Wood Duck ambassador. She loves her mealworms and making her custom combination of duck/chicken/human noises. She’s extremely intelligent, a little feisty, and knows a wide variety of training behaviors! When River was less than a day old, she was found completely on her own, which isn’t uncommon for precocial little Wood ducklings. The people that found her decided to take her home as a pet instead of contacting a wildlife rehabilitator for guidance. They put her in their chicken coop, where she unfortunately imprinted on both the chickens and humans she interacted with daily. Since this duck doesn’t realize she’s a duck, her forever home is WildCare.
Vincent is a Silver-haired Bat who came to WildCare as a rehabilitation patient in 2018. Vincent had been caught by someone’s pet cat who was allowed to roam free outside. He suffered a break to his left radius. The break was able to be set with the tiniest splint. Vincent was a full grown adult, at a hefty 12g, so we are unsure of his exact age. The break healed well, however he is unable to fly. He was welcomed as our smallest ambassador. Vincent enjoys getting to eat mealworms and vibrates (we like to call it purring) after he is full to the delight of all his trainers.
Poppy is our oldest opossum ambassador at approximately three years old. She came into rehabilitation in 2020 after being hit directly in the face by a car. Her broken jaw eventually healed well enough, but the head trauma she suffered caused permanent and complete blindness. Poppy is fantastic at locating her food using smell and touch, and loves tearing apart any food enrichment we offer. She’s one of the most dexterous ambassadors here, and is an expert vertical climber in her three-level (two bedroom) opossum apartment.
Potato is the younger of our two Virginia Opossums. She and her siblings were confiscated by DNR officers from a citizen who had taken them in illegally when they were infants. Potato and her siblings were fed an improper, and unbalanced, diet of hotdogs. Without the correct nutrition, they developed metabolic bone disease, leading to small, weakened bones that were warped. WildCare developed a diet rich in calcium to counteract as much of the damage as we could, however Miss Potato is still smaller than many adult opossums her age. Potato is very active and enjoys pets from her trainers. She is unable to climb well because of her stunted limbs, but she enjoys chasing after cat toys!
Loki was found as a cub abandoned in Bryan Park during the winter. Loki was emaciated, dehydrated, and clinging to life. With care from the rehabilitation team, he was able to regain his strength, with some lasting neurological difficulties from inbreeding. Loki is actually a Red Fox, however he is a color morph that is only seen through selective breeding in captive settings. There are no legal captive bred fox operations in Indiana. Loki’s slight brain damage and coloration mean that he could not survive in the wild. He lives an active life where he tries to out-fox his trainers. Loki loves figuring out puzzle toys, having opportunities to dig, and eating a variety of proteins and vegetables (mice, mushrooms, and green beans are some of his favorites!)
Yindi is a Woma Python who loves slithering around in sunlight and hanging out with her handlers. She can frequently be seen curled up in a perfect cinnamon roll under her heat lamps. Woma Pythons are not native to North America, instead they’re commonly found in the deserts of Western Australia. Though she is a captive animal born into life as a pet, Yindi is similar in size and shape to Indiana’s native Black Rat Snakes and helps to teach the public how to identify the snakes around them.
Jasper is our Corn Snake ambassador and is the smaller and more mischievous of the two snakes. He enjoys slithering his way into trouble, whether it be escaping his enclosure, getting stuck in his handlers’ hair, or knocking trinkets off desks. When he’s not wreaking havoc, Jasper can be frequently found napping under his hides, digging an inch or two below his substrate, or acting as the perfect necklace-bracelet accessory combo for his handlers.
Sully came into our care after being abandoned at a local park. Sulcatas are the third largest species of turtle, and unfortunately common in the pet trade. They’re often sold when they’re 2”, to unsuspecting people who don’t know they can reach 150 pounds. We assume this is what happened with Sully. Sully is a big fan of dandelions, greens or flowers, and has been clicker trained to follow a target! As of May of 2022, Sully is now 75 pounds and doing great.
Tortuga is our oldest ambassador, estimated to be over 60 years old! Tortuga was brought into our facility originally for rehabilitation after a collision with a car. Unfortunately, her shell was damaged, and a piece above her right shoulder was lost. As a result, this box turtle can’t box herself up to hide from predators. She spends her days enjoying soaks in her water bowl, eating her worms, and wedging herself into awkward situations.
Monaco is our biggest Eastern Box turtle ambassador, weighing in as twice as much as Clementine and Tortuga! Monaco was left in a box at a veterinarian’s office with severe ear infections. She came into our care for treatment, and while we were able to treat her illness, we don’t know where she was found. As a result, Monaco is a non-releasable ambassador. She’s one of our most enthusiastic eaters, and often tries to steal the other turtle’s food.
Clementine is our youngest Eastern Box turtle ambassador, and was stolen from her home as a juvenile. She was kept as a pet for several months, and her sub-optimal care resulted in a slight cosmetic deformity on her shell. Unfortunately, she was taken across state lines and her captors did not record the site she came from, making her non-releasable. Clementine sports the most color of our three turtles, with a vibrant shade of orange (hence her name) catching everyone’s eyes. She loves to bask in various spots around her enclosure, and can climb skillfully and quickly up hills and obstacles. She has yet to learn any manners at all, and often crosses the personal space of the other two turtles in order to “keep it moving”. Thankfully they both tolerate this young whippersnapper very well.