Stuck in Vermont: Julianna and Sophia Parker of Otter Creek Wildlife Rescue Help Animals — and Humans, Too | Stuck in Vermont | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Arts + Life » Stuck in Vermont

Stuck in Vermont: Julianna and Sophia Parker of Otter Creek Wildlife Rescue Help Animals — and Humans, Too

Episode 667

By

Published June 30, 2022 at 7:30 a.m.
Updated July 11, 2022 at 4:16 p.m.


Julianna Parker began rehabilitating orphaned baby birds at age 19. Years later, her daughter Sophia followed her mom’s lead, rescuing small critters and learning how to care for them. For the past 11 years, the two have joined forces as Otter Creek Wildlife Rescue in Addison. Sophia is almost 24 and works two jobs. Julianna has been fighting leukemia since 2014. The duo accepts injured or orphaned birds and mammals from across the state — about 200 per year. The spring and summer months are the busiest of the year, and the twosome don’t have much downtime between feedings.

Eva first met Sophia last winter in Burlington with a starving baby rat in need of care. Without hesitation, Sophia agreed to meet late at night after her shift at the hospital to take care of this tiny creature. That female rat was released into the wild this spring.

In early June, Eva traveled to Julianna’s home in Addison to meet up with the team. She was not allowed in the various wildlife enclosures due to state regulations for wildlife rehabbers. But Eva was able to meet a few of the animals in the pair’s care: a baby opossum, a fledgling raven, multiple nests of endlessly hungry baby birds, a pair of flying squirrels, a young barred owl, a chatty crow, a baby pigeon and an active posse of baby groundhogs. These were a small representation of the 80 or so birds and mammals currently in their care.

Julianna and Sophia spend much of their time feeding these animals, cleaning up after them and preparing them for release back into the wild. And in doing so, the pair say they not only help rescue the critters, but they also encourage compassion in the bighearted humans who travel from across the state to bring them animals in distress. As one of those humans, Eva can attest to the power of their help.

Filming date: 6/3/22

Music: Eveningland, “Love Now” & “Can’t Sleep”

This episode of Stuck in Vermont was supported by New England Federal Credit Union.