The Southern Vermont Natural History Museum is home to a dozen birds of prey, native snakes, frogs and turtles as well as some exotic insects and arachnids. All of these animals are non-releasable and for the most part are handicapped (hit by cars), unwanted or seized illegal pets. This year the Museum lost our primary source of food for our handicapped birds of prey and reptiles. This was a free resource whose providers have decided to sell to a commercial rodent supplier instead of contributing to the Museum. We estimate the cost of buying rodents for a year to feed all of our animals will run around $9,000. We are pursuing other avenues to obtain food but as our freezers slowly empty we want to make sure we can keep the eagles, owls and hawks fed and well cared for.
The Museum encourages an appreciation and understanding of nature through Exhibition at our West Marlboro, VT site and and through Educational Programming throughout the region. Our natural science, environmental and live animal presentations and workshops saw over 22,000 people in 2018 alone! The Museum houses an historic natural history collection showcasing over 250 species of bird and mammal native to the northeastern United States. One of the largest collections of it's kind in New England. The collection and live animals serve as a hook to get people outside and caring about our natural world.
We were caught off guard by this sudden change and will need to restructure how we get food and what we are feeding the animals. It is our hope that your support of this GoFundMe campaign will give us a year to figure that all out.