Education Ambassadors

Our education ambassadors have disabilities that have rendered them un-releasable. Interested in meeting the animal team? Visit our Education page for a list of program options.

Wooka, Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker
Disability: Underdeveloped

Wooka, a member of the woodpecker family, suffers from a naturally occurring birth defect. With only one eye and toes that do not allow him to climb well, he could never survive on his own in the wild.
Lucy, Canada Goose
Disability: Imprinted

Illegally taken from the wild and raised by humans, Lucy came to our center as a gosling. She was introduced to flocks of her own kind, but attempts to rehabilitate her back to a “wild” state proved futile. She had become very fond of people and never learned the skills necessary to survive on her own.
Talulah Eastern Wild Turkey Animal Ambassador Fox Valley Wildlife Center
Talulah, Eastern Wild Turkey
Disability: Wing Fracture

After treatment and rehabilitation for a broken wing, she never regained full extension in the muscles. Although unable to fly, her strong legs and jumping ability presented a challenge for public appearances. A special harness was created by The Parrot University to solve this issue. She quickly adapted to wearing the fitted accessory and enjoys daily walks outside.
Zhina Edited
Zihna, Red-Tailed Hawk
Disability: Head Trauma and Imprinted

Zihna (pronounced Zeye-nah) was brought to the center with severe head trauma. Because he was so young at the time of the injury, he became imprinted during treatment. He has permanent balance issues but with training, provided by center staff, he has greatly improved.
Ernie and Bernadette Education Ambassadors
Ernie and Bernadette
Disabilities: Fractured Wing, Habituated

Ernie was brought to the center by the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors with a fractured wing of unknown origin. Unable to fly, he cannot be released back into the wild due to his injury.

Bernadette was found on a residential driveway. Lethargic and unwilling to fly away, she was brought to the center by the homeowner. Due to her friendly demeanor and lack of fear, she is presumably a former racing pigeon. During her brief recuperation she formed a special bond with our resident rock dove, Ernie.
These special birds demonstrate that all species deserve a second chance.
Lance Edited
Lancelot – Eastern Milk Snake
Disability: Habituated

Lancelot came to us through the generosity of a retiring naturalist from another facility. Raised from an egg, he has spent his entire life educating the public about his species.
Ciega – Virginia Opossum
Disability: Blind

Ciega was found injured in the middle of a Washington State highway. Healed from her apparent injuries and scheduled for release, it was discovered that she had lost sight in both eyes. Transferred to our center, she was given her name which means “blind” in Spanish.
Toby, 3-toed Box Turtle
Disability: Habituated

Toby came to the center when he was found alone in an alley. Because he is so friendly to humans, it is suspected that he was dumped there by someone who raised and no longer wanted to care for him. He was never given the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to survive in the wild. With no fear of predators or ability to care for himself, he cannot be released.
Waldo – Spotted Salamander
Disability: Loss of Eye

Waldo, a spotted salamander, lost an eye after an attack by a chicken. Fully recovered, he now travels to various events.
ZiZi - Eastern Screech Owl
Zypher - Education Ambassador
Zephyr - Eastern Screech Owl