24. December 2012 · Comments Off on 2012 in a Nutshell · Categories: Uncategorized
Giving Wildlife a Second Chance
   As the Winter chill finally convinces the Bay Area that it is the end of December, and the flow of wildlife orphans needing help has come to the annual end, I can look back on 2012 and confidently say we did well.2012 allowed us to developed a strong foster-team and we were able to help hundreds of wildlife orphans, from infant squirrels injured during Spring tree-cuttings, to orphan fawns found wandering the roads at night.  This year our education programs have blossomed in ways that are so wonderful I wish I could make copies of myself so I could attend all of our lectures and presentations! We even saw some of our long-time volunteers go off on adventures this year; to Veterinary School so they may come back to the front lines as Doctors, to Africa to study Lions, and to create new nonprofits to make amazing strides in learning about River Otter Ecology. 2012 is a year I am very proud of and I want to share some of our best moment from it with you.

2012 Year In Pictures


A month of cleaning and preparing for Spring’s orphans. We built new enclosures, new nestboxes, planterboxes, and trained new volunteers so we would be ready when Spring’s patients started trickling in.

We built a new larger enclosure for our non-releaseable education squirrel Wonka.
He was very grateful.


February found us at Alameda’s Crab Cove Visitor Center where we gave a fun lecture to little ones about the wonders of Raccoons.


March brought in a slow stream of orphaned babies needing help. March also surprised us with a nomination on Huffington Post as one of the “Top Nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area.”



April brought a flood of orphaned fawns, raccoons and more squirrels!


Fawns and other orphans continued to come in, but we found time for our first OAK (Outdoor Adventures for Kids)  nature walk! We met in Golden Gate Park to learn all about San Francisco’s Coyote population, as well as other local wildlife.

Foster Volunteer Sutton Trout feeds “Felix”. Felix was found on the side of the road next to the body of his mother. He was mistaken for a teddy bear by a passing driver who swerved around him and was shocked when he moved. When she stopped the car and saw his mother dead, she knew he needed help to survive so she contacted us.
We have a sizable herd of orphan fawns in fostercare.


June launched our Wild Oakland Monthly Nature Walk and Talk. http://wildoakland.org/


July brought in more orphaned wildlife needing a helping hand.


August was my month to present a Wild Oakland lecture. I did a Squirrel Walk and Talk around Lake Merritt. It was very fun to be surrounded by so many who loved and were interested in Squirrels!

This is a Squirrel Nest, called a Drey.


Meanwhile, our wildlife orphans in care are growing. Some are ready to go into outside enclosures to prepare for their eminent release back into the wild.


October brought us more orphans in need but also saw many of our orphans graduate into life back in the wild to live the life they were intended to.


In normal years, November is a month of releases and cleaning up. This year was different. We were receiving eyes-closed babies in November!

November also marked the month when Felix, Fiona, and the other herd members were released back into the wild. They are out there now, enjoying the freedom of their birthright. Safe Travels, friends.


December was uncommonly warm and sunny. We released the late summer squirrels and even had a surprise update on Felix, one of our fawns from the Spring!

Felix was spotted crossing a small country road. He lifted his head  and paused when his name was called, then wandered off into the wilderness, as it should be.
I am very proud of all of our volunteers who were on the Front Line helping wildlife animals in need, and of all the people who stopped their lives because they found an animal in distress and wanted to help.“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Mahatma Gandhi

All of you give me hope that my son will inherit a world full of compassion and caring. Thank you, and Happy New Year to you all.

-Lila Travis
Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue

In Memoriam

We are very saddened to announce that this year we lost our Co-Founder Richard Travis. Richard stepped down from our board of directors last year due to health reasons. He leaves behind 2 grown sons and 1 young son, and a lifetime of working hard for animal welfare, wildlife, and environmentalism. His quick mind, and ice-breaking humor will be missed , as will his amazing abilities as an artist and storyteller. We thank him for devoting his life to making the world a better, safer, more cooperative place for all creatures, humans included.

Please help Wildlife this Holiday Season

Our organization is 100% volunteer-run and donation-funded. We are a grassroots 501(c)3 Non profit and all donations are Tax Deductible. Please remember us this holiday season. Making a donation to help wildlife is a wonderful gift.
Make a Donation
Want to Volunteer?
Need to do Community Service Hours?Fostercare:   We are ready to train more FosterCare Volunteers to care for Squirrels, Opossum, Raccoons, and other wildlife orphans. Please call us at 510-421-9897 or email info@yuwr.org if you would like to volunteer!

Transportation:   We need drivers willing to drive orphaned babies from the East Bay to San Francisco, and vice versa. All animals are safely enclosed in boxes or crates and pose no danger or mess.  Transportation is one of the most valuable ways you could help us. Please call us at 510-421-9897 or email info@yuwr.org if you would like to volunteer!

Not interested in fostering or transporting? Have other ideas? Call us! WE NEED SELF-MOTIVATED THINKERS

Internship: Design Your OWN Internship! Call us at 510-421-9897 to get started.

Thank you for reading our Newsletter!

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26. November 2012 · Comments Off on Posting Comments on our Website · Categories: Uncategorized

It has recently come to my attention that people are regularly posting comments to our website with animal emergencies and questions. This is distressing because we are not notified when a comment is left, so all these wildlife emergencies have gone unattended because we did not know they existed.

We have attempted to disable the comments but we cannot apply it retroactively.

If you have a wildlife question or emergency, please visit our Wildlife Emergency or Problems with Wildlife page, or call our emergency hotline at 510-421-9897. Please DO NOT leave a comment here. You can also email us IF IT IS NOT AN EMERGENCY at info@yuwr.org

Thanks for your understanding. Together we can help wildlife, teach, and solve your problem.

21. June 2012 · Comments Off on Wild Oakland’s First Walk! · Categories: Uncategorized

Saturday, June 16th was our first walk, and it went swimmingly! Here’s a seriously (dare I say tragically) truncated version of what we talked about, for all of you who were unable to attend.

The topic of the day was “a general social and natural history of Lake Merritt”. We met at the Pergola (the name for the columns between Grand Ave and Lakeshore), where Norah and I started the walk with a re-visioning of the area as it would have been 200 years ago. Lake Merritt would have been a tidal slough, rich with marsh vegetation like tule, saltgrass, and pickleweed. Herds of elk and pronghorn as well as grizzlies would have been lumbering through, and flocks of birds would have darkened the sky. Such is the scene Louis Peralta would have seen when he was 17 years old, surveying the area from the point that’s now Mills College.

Meeting at the pergola, photo by Damon Tighe

We walked along the edge of the water and learned about the trees, plants, and animals that now populate the area, and Norah taught us about the City Beautiful and Sanitation Awakening movements that carried us into the 20th century.

Widgeon grass photo by Damon Tighe

Aquatic harvester removing widgeon grass, photo by Damon Tighe

Reaching the Bird Islands and feeding area, we were greeted by the ubiquitous Canadian geese and pigeons. A “gulp” (the word for a group of cormorants) was busy nesting in the island trees while we talked about them, the night herons, and the snowy egrets that make their home at the lake.

Canadian Goose gosling photo by Damon Tighe

Continuing on to the boathouse, where the Lake Merritt Institute has its office, Norah talked about the impact WWII, unions, the Great Migration, and “white flight” had on Oakland’s economy. I talked about the Glen Echo watershed and the thousands of pounds of trash that the Lake Merritt Institute scoops out of the lake every year. Seven square miles of storm drain runoff from 50,000 Oakland residents- and all that detritus runs into the lake. No wonder trash cleanup is a full-time endeavor… thank you, Lake Merritt Institute, for all of your constant work!

After we had wandered halfway through the beautiful gardens at Lake Merritt, we stopped under the shade of a Giant Sequoia, where this gem was taken:

Fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) photo taken by Eddie Dunbar

It wasn’t just us getting tired from the heat!

Norah taught us about some of the history and activities of the Black Panthers, and lots of walk attendees added their own stories and knowledge about the activism of this legendary group.

Our last stop was under one of the Deodar cedars by the lawn bowling fields. Norah and I wrapped up the talk by recapping some of the events that the lake has been a major player or backdrop in, and that to truly understand the history and ecology of an area, nothing should be considered too small or mundane to garner one’s attention.

Thanks to everyone who attended our inaugural walk!

Group photo by Damon Tighe

A special thank you to Vanessa from Vee Horticulture for teaching me about the plants around the lake before this first walk, and Dr. Richard Bailey from the Lake Merritt Institute for giving Norah and I access to all the amazing information in the Lake Merritt Institute office and answering lots of our questions. And a big thank you to Norah Cook from Wild Oakland for being a co-presenter and really knowing her stuff about Oakland’s history!

See you next month!

– Constance

21. June 2012 · Comments Off on Fawn Class of 2012 · Categories: Uncategorized

The fawns have been growing up too! They are almost ready to go to Bambi BootCamp, the next level of their rehabilitation back into the wild.

As infants, they need special care for the first few months of their lives. They need to be bottle-fed and hand-cared-for. Once they graduate from nursing and are totally eating solid food, they are ready to move to Bambi BootCamp where they will have an entire ACRE of wilderness to safely explore, in the middle of the wilds. They will have little contact with humans and be able to watch wild adult deer wandering around, doing wild things. There, they will stay for a few more months, before the gates are opened to them and they are able to live free and wild.

Please wish the Fawn Class of 2012 good luck as they move closer to this first transition.

1 day old Fawn orphan

3 day old Fawn orphan

2 day old fawn being fed by foster-volunteer Sutton Trout

Babies at 1 week of age

Getting bigger! 3 weeks old.

Now that they eat forage, we are helping prune all the City trees!

Special Thanks to Carl and the crew at Whole Foods Noe Valley for their greens donation – and their wonderful sign!

Special Thanks also to Alameda Natural Grocery for keeping everyone well fed!

…and not just the fawns!    http://www.alamedanaturalgrocery.com

Even with all this Forage they are still only 2 months old and still need to nurse.

But they are all getting big and ready for Bambi BootCamp very soon.


Thank you to foster volunteer Sutton Trout, transport volunteer Suzanne Stanton, and Stacy Johnson and her family, who are preparing Bambi BootCamp to welcome this Fawn Class of 2012 very soon.

Good work team!


01. June 2012 · Comments Off on Almost Summer…. · Categories: Uncategorized

As Spring progresses, our babies grow bigger and their needs for care change.

A baby squirrel who once needed to be bottle fed and snuggled into a nursery box, will grow into a rambunctious teenager who needs to climb and jump and learn how to not fall in a safe place before she can be released back into the wild. With this in mind, we built a new enclosure for the little baby Eastern Gray tree squirrels we raised from eyes-closed infants earlier this year.

Thanks to Whole Foods for produce donations and Berkeley Bowl West for help finding nuts so these kids could transition to solids and off formula.

These beautiful young squirrels are the same ones we received, eyes closed, back in March! My how they grow…

30. May 2012 · Comments Off on Great Turnout for Outdoor Adventures in Golden Gate Park! · Categories: Uncategorized

In partnership with Lisa Siewert and the San Francisco Unified School District, we had a wonderful Outdoor Adventure! Twelve kids plus their parents joined us for a talk and walk through Golden Gate Park to learn about the wildlife animals who lives there and explain the recent Beware Coyote signs. We had a wilderness hike and Treasure Hunt. We even saw a red tailed hawk land on a gopher just twenty feet from us! Here are some photos:

The Coyote signs are very important to raise awareness of the reality that there are families of Coyotes in Golden Gate Park and during the Spring baby season, we need to keep our dogs on leash and out of certain areas so as to not upset nesting mother coyotes. Our dogs are seen as a threat to their babies and they may respond aggressively to keep the babies safe. To avoid these confrontation, the City has installed these temporary trail closures and posted informative signs

Aside from learning about Coyotes, our students also went on a Wilderness treasure hunt. Among the many items they were asked to find, like a feather, they were asked to find something that is a mystery to them and something that is inspiring.

When this little boy chose this piece of charred wood as his “mystery” item, I was delighted. After explaining how it was made, we sat down and drew pictures with his piece of charcoal!

This young lady found a multicolored leaf that was quite inspiring, and also beautiful eucalyptus buttons sprouting the finest neon orange fur.

For my treasure hunt, as the item I found inspiring I chose this natural sculpture which is all that is left of an ancient tree.

It was a very fun and educational Outdoor Adventure.

Thank you to Lisa Siewert and the San Francisco Unified School District for facilitating and partnering with us for this excellent event. We look forward to the Fall when we can schedule more Outdoor Adventures!

28. April 2012 · Comments Off on Spring has Sprung! 2012 · Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Spring everyone.

This is our first Spring since we lost our facility, last year, and we are ready!

After a few false-starts, trying to find a new facility, we are now utilizing the backyards of our trained volunteers, with satellite home-bases all over the San Francisco Bay Area!  We have also stepped up our education programs and narrowed our focus to rehabilitating wildlife orphan babies and referring injured adults to other facilities.  Next year we will restart our efforts to find a new facility, but for now, there are BABIES to take care of and CLASSES to offer!

Here are some pictures of our wildlife babies this Spring 2012:

Volunteer Sutton Trout feeds 2-day-old fawn




23. March 2012 · Comments Off on We were listed on Huffingtonpost.com · Categories: Uncategorized

We made the list as one of the TOP 10 Local grassroots nonprofits helping animals on HuffingtonPost today!

Please visit and cast your vote for Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue!


Thank you!!

03. March 2012 · Comments Off on Wonderful Raccoons at Crab Cove Visitor Center · Categories: Events, Uncategorized

We had an excellent event today. Our presentation at the Crab Cove Visitor Center all about Raccoons took place this morning at 10am. Here is a photo retelling of this very fun event:

We arrived at the Crab Cove Visitor Center to see this wonderful sign announcing the day’s event, as well as a poster about it hanging in the message box. The Visitor Center lecture room had many interested boys and girls all set to learn about raccoons!

Megan was there with PoPo the Raccoon, to answer questions and meet the kids. Constance was going to make the presentation about Wonderful Raccoons.

Despite a couple of technical glitches, Constance did a great job presenting to the audience! We learned all about Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores, how raccoons climb up and down trees, and much much more, complete with demonstration and examples!  PoPo and Megan also did a great job making the rounds, asking kids questions and getting to know them.


After the lecture, we all went outside for Raccoon-oriented Arts & Crafts! There were raccoon pictures to color, footprint stamps to press, and really cool bookmarks to take home as souvenirs!

Here are the two Cutest Pictures of the Day:

Great Job to Constance Taylor for her excellent presentation to the crowd of little ones!

Great job to Megan Isadore for organizing and coordinating this event!

Thank you to the Crab Cove Visitor Center. We look forward to many more child and adult oriented educational lectures with you in the future.

(special thank you to PoPo for taking time out of his busy springtime schedule to attend and talk about himself. Thanks PoPo!)







21. February 2012 · Comments Off on UPCOMING EVENT! · Categories: Uncategorized

Please join us at Crab Cove on Saturday, March 3 for a fun presentation on raccoons. Great for the 4 years old and up crowd! 10-11AM, CRAB COVE VISITOR CENTER & AQUARIUM, 1252 McKay Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501 Phone: (510) 544-3187 e-mail: ccove@ebparks.org We’ll have lots of pictures, video, stories of our lovely wild raccoons, and a fun project for the little kids.