Beavers at the Refuge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Beaver lodge and food raft, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Bumblebees and ant on buttonbush, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Canada goose family in main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Eastern mud turtle, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Fungi on tree, photo by Dave Sauder
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Great egret in main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Hummingbird, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Northern cricket frog on lily pad, photo by Cliff Compton
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Raccoon babies, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo
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Eastern gray squirrel, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is a protected natural habitat comprising 767 acres of pristine pine lands, forest, fields and bogs. It provides a refuge to animals and plants indigenous to southern New Jersey; a place where wildlife can live freely and naturally without fear of being harmed at the hands of human beings. We began as the home of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci, who dedicated their land to habitat preservation so that native wildlife and habitat could thrive. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) entity, federal ID 23-7025010.
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Our Mission

Dragonfly, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
  1. To obtain and protect habitat in the New Jersey Pinelands area so that indigenous animals and plants can have an unexploited opportunity to live;
  2. To protect free-living (wild) animals from hunting, trapping, fishing and other consumptive activities by people;
  3. To provide a "living classroom" for the public to study nature and appreciate the importance of wildlife and habitat protection; and
  4. To work with individuals and communities to peacefully resolve conflicts with wildlife.


Support Unexpected Wildlife Refuge

We need your help!

Drawing of rat and mushrooms, original artwork by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder; click to enlarge

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is supported entirely by private donations from individuals who have visited us or read about the Refuge. The generosity of our supporters will allow us to continue to protect this special habitat and educate the public about its importance. Refuge expenses include local taxes, insurance premiums, and equipment maintenance.
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Visiting the Refuge

We encourage people to visit our wonderful haven for wildlife. To schedule a visit...


Take Action to Help Wildlife:

Help end killing contests in New Jersey

Sick or injured wildlife?

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is not involved in wildlife rehabilitation. Click here for our information page on this subject on what to do and, especially, what not to do.