A cold fog hung heavy over the North Carolina Zoo on Saturday, March 9, but it did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the IXL volunteers who showed up to lend a hand. They were there to assist the North Carolina Zoo with two projects, one at the Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and another at the Avian Propagation Building.
At the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, IXL volunteers helped maintain trails and pathways by raking and bagging leaves. These paths lead to the outdoor enclosures that the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center uses to reacclimate animals to the wild before release. The center also provides free veterinary and rehabilitation services to more than 800 sick, injured, or orphaned North Carolina animals each year. After the project was finished, the group got the chance to meet some of the animals currently being rehabilitated, including American crows, mourning doves, eastern box turtles, and red-tailed hawks.
Meanwhile, at the Avian Propagation Building, which supports sustainable captive breeding programs and houses sick or injured birds, other IXLers spread new mulch around trees and other plants in the outdoor enclosures. They also added a new layer of slate rock to help cover landscape fabric and prevent the growth of weeds. After completing their work, they were treated to a visit with the birds currently living at the facility, who seemed excited about their new and improved enclosures.
IXlers agreed that helping out behind the scenes was rewarding. “Volunteering at the North Carolina Zoo felt good,” said Daryl Webster, IXL’s Director of Customer Support. “We knew we were contributing to the great work done by the team at the zoo, who help animals in need and teach us about wildlife. This was a very fulfilling experience.”
After finishing up their respective projects, IXLers spent the afternoon touring the rest of the North Carolina Zoo. They had a fantastic time checking out the menagerie on display, from observing the endearing underwater antics of harbor seals at the Rocky Coast exhibit to walking alongside Victoria crowned pigeons in the aviary.
The North Carolina Zoo stretches over 2,600 forested acres just south of Asheboro, North Carolina. With over 500 acres developed for animal habitation, it is the world’s largest natural habitat zoo. For more information, please visit https://www.nczoo.org.
—Zack MacHardy, Software Engineer