29. December 2021 · Comments Off on Please enjoy our End-Of-Year Newsletter: · Categories: Uncategorized

2021 in a Nutshell

“Wildlife Rehabilitation” : (v) an attempt to mitigate the human impact on our natural environment by rescuing orphaned wildlife animals and raising them with the expressed purpose of being released back into the wild, giving them a second chance at a normal life.

2021 Director’s Letter

What an odd year we have had, both globally, and as a species. Every time I feel like we have found our new balance, I find myself having to readjust. But just when things get to be the darkest, something amazing will happen to renew my hope. I feel like 2021 has been that kind of year for our wildlife center.

What has renewed me, is the inevitable kindness and compassion from people who stop their lives to call our hotline and make sure that wildlife get help in their moment of great need. I spoke with so many kind souls this year whose quick action saved the lives of wild animals. Whether it was a baby fawn wandering around along a busy highway after mama was hit by a car, an owl caught in basketball hoop netting, or the hundreds of orphaned squirrels and opossums who sought-out help from passersby because they couldn’t survive on their own. All these stories told to me by people who stopped to help, have renewed me, and made me so grateful for your support and care for the world around us. Regardless of what is happening in our very human world.

Please enjoy some Rescue Tales from 2021. If you have the time and ability, consider joining our volunteer team and making a last-minute tax deductible end-of-year donation to help wildlife in 2022. Above all, be safe, and be kind to each other, and yourself too.

Happy New Year to you from all of us at Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue.


Lila Travis

Our organization is still 100% volunteer-run & donation-funded after 20 years. We are a grassroots 501(c)3 Non profit. All donations are Tax Deductible.
Please remember us this holiday season!
Making a donation to help wildlife is a wonderful gift.

Rescue Tails….

Boudica was an ancient warrior queen who fought a hopeless battle against all odds and was, for a time, victorious. She has since become a symbol of strength and perseverance against the odds.

In 2021 we met Boudica, the opossum. She was found in Oakland covered in blood and staggering. Animal control thought she was suffering so started the process of humanely euthanizing her. However, when she was unconscious on the table, about to have the euthanasia fluid administered, the officer saw movement from her pouch.

Opossums are North America’s only marsupial. This means they are non-placental mammals and their babies are born as embryos and develop in a pouch outside their bodies. Kangaroos are famous marsupial examples.

When the officer saw her pouch move, he investigated and found it to be heavy and full of baby opossums! He stopped the procedure and contacted our wildlife center, asking if we would accept this opossum into care. We agreed and arranged urgent transport to Yggdrasil for the still sedated opossum. She was given a bath to wash away the blood, and examined. Much to my surprise, she had no wounds! The “blood” making her body pink was flea dirt from a severe infestation. During the bath, another significant discovery was made. Boudica only had 3 legs! Not from a recent accident or trauma, but rather from a birth defect or early pouch injury. Boudica was not injured and was only staggering because the weight of her pouch full of babies was making it hard for her to walk with only one rear leg.

Against all odds, Boudica was able to raise her babies, who were eventually released back into the wild, after enjoying the care and attention from YUWR volunteers.

Issam Has a Bad Day

I’m Issam. I’m a great horned owl, which is usually pretty great (as the name states). But let me tell you about my worst day ever. So, I’m flying around, being great, wind blowing through my horns, being an owl. Out of NOWHERE, this web of strings attacks me. I’m like, “Whoa! Where do you get off buddy?!” The thing’s wrapped around my head and neck, we’re fighting, I’m flying, I can’t shake this thing! So like in Top Gun, I go, “Fine, you wanna ride? Let’s go, we’ll see how long you can hold on, but we’re going up!” And before I can reach the Kàrmàn Line, out of NOWHERE, this tree branch grabs onto the string web! So now all three of us are fighting. I tell the tree “Hey, I can fight my own battles, just leaf!”, but it won’t let go. And neither will the string guy. After a while, we’re all tired, I’m completely tangled by the string web, tangled in the branch- it’s like Shelob’s lair!

Here’s where it gets really embarrassing. Normally, I go to my hideout during the day, but I’m stuck. So the next day, these humans, they’re hanging out, and they spot me. They all gather around on the ground, staring up at me like they’ve never seen a Great Horned Owl just hanging around. They call the Fuzz! I’m like, “Great, let everyone know! Why don’cha take a picture, it’ll last longer.” But then they do, so I shut my beak. 

They’re down there, chatting it up, until two of the humans start climbing up the tree. I’m like “Yes, what I really need is more people giving me trouble today!” So these two guys, they get up to my level, about 40 ft. up. Turns out they climb mountains normally, not trees. So they end up beating up the branch that’s holding onto the string web. I get pretty excited at this point, thinking they’re on my side. But then I realize “Hey, if the branch lets go, I still got this string”. And then “CRACK”. I’m on the ground and the Fuzz is swaddling me with a towel and attacking me and the string web! I’m like, “He started it, I was just flying around”. She separates the two of us, but instead of letting me go, she loads me up in her paddy wagon and bird-naps me.

The Fuzz hands me off to these two humans who live in a huge box. They cover my cage and put me in solitary. That’s when I start to really worry. And let me tell you, these are some sick people. They took me out of my cage, grabbed me by the ankles, and injected me with some kind of fluid. I swear, I didn’t tell ‘em nothing, but they meant business. Then back into the covered cage in the dark room for the night. The floor was nice and warm… I will give them that.

The rest is your usual hostage story. I was taken to another place, they also tried to get me to talk with the fluids (but at least they had some decent food). After about a week, I was returned back to the site of that crazy tree and released. The Fuzz lady and the two climbers, and a bunch of their friends showed up. They seemed real pleased with themselves and kept calling me Issam. I think it has a nice ring to it, and is better than what my buddies call me, which is “Hey! Watch where ya goin’!!!” 

I’ll never understand what the string web, that branch, and all those weird humans wanted with me; but never underestimate a GREAT HORNED OWL. I’m a tough bird.


Yggdrasil has the following volunteer positions available:

  • Intake Team vet-tech experience is helpful, but we will train!
  • Opossum Team Lead experience rehabilitating opossums is required for consideration for team leadership.
  • Opossum Foster-To-Forest ReWild Team no experience required.
  • Squirrel Infant Foster Care no experience required, but always appreciated!
  • Squirrel Foster-To-Forest ReWild Team no experience required.
  • Build Team help construct and repair outdoor wildlife pre-release enclosures.
  • Transport Team help save lives by driving animals and supplies around the Bay Area!

Please visit our VOLUNTEER page to join our team!

THANK YOU also to our amazing Coordinator Team!


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