Beavers at the Refuge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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American goldfinch male, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Insect holes in log, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Swallow nest, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Black vulture fledglings, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Eastern pondhawk male dragonflies, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Common tumblebug, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Green heron, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Common garter snake, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Spangled skimmer dragonfly female, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Fowler's toad, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is a protected natural habitat comprising 767 acres of pristine pine lands, forest, fields, bogs, streams and lakes. 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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Council of Trustees

Darwin Sawyer, Vice President
Darwin is a nephew of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci. He has been actively involved with the Refuge since the early 1960s. He is a vegan and retired.

Janet Romano Schubert, Treasurer
Janet is a long-time animal activist and supporter of the Refuge. She is a vegan, musician and teacher.

David Sauder
David is a long-time animal activist and supporter of the Refuge. He had the honor of knowing Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and patrolling the Refuge together with her years ago. He is a vegan, president of Animal Rights Activists of New Jersey, Inc., and a decades-long social worker.

Leor Veleanu
Leor is an attorney dedicated to protecting the rights of all species, including human and non-human animals. He is passionate about photographing wildlife, especially birds. Leor has been a vegan for over two decades.

Navin Sasikumar
Navin is passionate about animals and the natural world and connecting people to nature. He is a vegan and a software engineer. (he is in the foreground in the photo, looking for birds)


Jen Collins
Jen is a passionate advocate for the respect and protection of all wildlife, natural habitats and the environment. Her experience working with raptor rehabilitation has given her a unique insight into conservation and public education. She is a vegetarian, actively working towards full veganism.

Legal Counsel

William M. Gilson, Esq.