Woolly repairs

Faithful volunteers have been working on repairing Woolly, the mammoth mascot for the Museum of the Middle Appalachians in Saltville. Clockwise from left are Butch Surber, Dave Smith, Ron Orr and Scott Venable. Students at Northwood Middle School have also been involved in the ongoing surgery.

Woolly Mammoth, mascot for the Museum of the Middle Appalachians in Saltville, is in need of care. Age-related issues have led to a decline in her health.

As she is currently undergoing intensive care at the Saltville Rescue Squad, hopes are that Woolly will recover in time for her annual prognostication of spring’s arrival time at the end of January. If she is still under the weather, Little Salty may have to fill in as he has done before when Mama Mammoth was out of commission.

Janice Orr, director of the museum, said that folks who saw Woolly over the summer could see that she was in need of help. “Her head is drooping, her color is bad, and her hair is falling out,” said Orr. Woolly is 26 in human years.

“It was feared that Woolly was near her end,” Orr said. “The family was called in. But, just in the nick of time, the Saltville Rescue Squad came to her aid and has taken Woolly in for rehabilitation.”

“The prognosis is good for a full recovery, but it will require a few major replacements and a total skin and hair transplant,” Orr said. “She will need the help of her Friends to get through this tough time.”

Orr said that Woolly’s treatment will require about 35 miles of bailing twine, many feet of chicken wire, prosthetic shoes, a new heart, and electronic voice box. Volunteers have been hard at work over the past weeks restringing her hair and working on the other aspects of her care. Students at Northwood High School have even pitched in to help.

Orr said that treatments and recovery fees will be approximately $2,000 and donations are more than welcome.

“Woolly’s major medical expired 5,000 years ago and she is not eligible for Mammoth Medicare because her primary caregivers are not participating providers,” Orr said. “If you would like to volunteer your time, or check on Woolly’s rehab, call the museum at 276-496-3633.”

“Woolly is loved by everyone,” Orr said. “She has given years of fun and entertainment with weather forecasting at Woolly Mammoth Day, public appearances, parades, and special occasions.”

Friends of the Museum of the Middle Appalachians have set up a Woolly Rehab fund to help with this mammoth restoration.

Individuals may donate to Woolly’s rehabilitation by sending a check to Friends of MOMA, P.O. Box 910, Saltville, VA 24370.

“Any help you can contribute will be greatly appreciated,” said Orr. “Help us bring Woolly back more beautiful and special than ever.”

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