Wildlife sanctuary comes back from difficult year

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ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) – Snorts and squawks were the sounds that marked a new beginning for Onslow County’s Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary as they officially reopened their gates Sunday.

“We try to give people who love animals a place to express that love and be able to do things for them,” said Sanctuary Director Tony O’Neill. “Or just be able to support them financially knowing that there is a place that will last here forever.”

The reserve has faced many challenges in the past year, including hurricane damage and loss of fundraising and volunteering opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newly renovated, O’Neill said they have the opportunity to educate the community about North Carolina’s wildlife while also caring for the injured and those in need of rehabilitation.

“We have a lot of children and people think they can raise themselves or birds of prey,” said volunteer Andrew Bogman. “They think they can keep his pets, but unfortunately, that is not the best for the animal. They need care so that they can be released back into the wild.”

Make sure Baughman is well-versed, like opossums.

“You really can’t release an opossum with more than half of its tail missing,” Baughman said. “They don’t use it for hanging like you see in the movies. They use it for balancing and collecting nesting material.”

Many of the sanctuary’s tenants are educational ambassadors, including a rabbit named Laureate, who is used to educate the public about the dangers of raising rabbits.

“People breed a lot of rabbits and a lot of pets in general. Domestic rabbits are not able to survive in the wild,” Bogman said. “They are supposed to be pets. The important thing for our Education Ambassadors is to help educate the public about North Carolina’s wildlife which is very important to help preserve it.”

At 16, Bogman fearlessly takes charge of education.

“Getting to know nature that influences nature in a positive way, combating the negative effects of people, releasing them back into the wild – it’s very satisfying. If the animals weren’t here, we wouldn’t be here, so it’s very important to me to be able to do that. also.

Fall fundraising is the largest source of community income for the campus. Over $4,500 in prizes has been withdrawn to generate funds for the animals’ ongoing improvements.

Guided tours are available daily on the campus located at 119 Doe Dr. Hubert, NC 28539. More information on how to visit or support Possumwood Acres can be found here.

Copyright 2021 WITN. All rights reserved.


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