I never thought.... I've been saying that quite a bit lately. I never thought so many people would send me halters, lead ropes, wormer, syringes, and even hay. I never thought that so many people would paypal or drop a check in the mail to validate what I do and help with the gelding costs on these 6 intact male llamas that need to be done immediately. So far, in monetary donations we have close to $750 towards their gelding. I called the vet today, they originally couldn't get the guys gelded until April 8th but they are going to squeeze them in tomorrow for me. Four of them will be able to go out with the herd that they are familiar with by this weekend. The other two studs will probably have to be confined longer to cool their jets before they will go out with the herd and be "civilized". The computer emails and the phone continue to bring pleas for help ... there are sheep, geese, and several more llamas coming in but none are emergencies and I would prefer to blog about what is here--not what is coming.
I never thought that a bunch of guys in their early 20s (most were High School Volunteers here) would want to stand on scaffolding 12 foot in the air and work on the ceiling of the indoor part of our new raptor facility. We have just about 100 feet of the ceiling done. This weekend, between our two fund-raising events, we hope to finish the ceiling and get the 9 posts put in. Once that is done, we can finish individual pens as time and money allows. My goal is to have the 8 indoor raptor pens done by summer. The outdoor flight that is connected to the inside individual species aviaries will be the largest flight aviary in the Northeast (that I am aware of): over 100 feet of enclosed, open free-flight space. It will be crucial for rehabbing raptors (hawks, owls, falcons) for release back into the wild. Everyone has been very impressed with what we are doing here. I have a vision and we are well on our way there. It takes time and money--but doesn't everything? We have gotten a lot of interest lately from people of all ages that want to volunteer at our facility. This is no longer a one-man show and the volunteers have been a huge help keeping the constant facility expansion moving forward, and tackling a variety of other chores. "The guys" are probably not going to read this but if you do, thanks for giving up your weekends to keep the raptor center going.
I never thought that I would get a call to save a Seagull; we are a long way from any substantial body of water. Last night, after dinner, our phone rang (it does that a lot lately) . My daughter Hannah got the expression on her face she always gets when we get a wild animal rescue call. I took the call and the caller said that a Seagull had been hit in the road in front of the convenience store where she worked, on Main St. in Schoharie. Schoharie is not close to a beach but it isn't that unusual to see seagulls in the valley during the spring. I actually await their arrival as a sign of spring. They fly in from the Hudson River (or elsewhere?) and they scour the valley for whatever might be thawing out of the ice, take advantage of the snacks, and leave....
I am anxiously awaiting for my chance to rehab some black bear cubs but I wasn't expecting to do any seagull rehab anytime soon. :) I suggested that they try to get it in a box where it would be safe and told Sue that I would be there in 5 minutes. I actually went to the wrong Mobil Mart, (there are only 4 gas stations in Schoharie) first. I was beginning to wonder which one of my friends was messing with me when we pulled into the right convenience store with a box sitting by the door. The top of the box was open and I peered in to see a seagull looking back at me. It had anexpression like: "Where the hell have you been", and "Don't get any ideas pal". I reached in the box and got a good beak bite--much to the amusement of my daughter. After I got him off my hand, I did a "once over" and was happy to see that they were no broken wings or legs. Other than a pretty bad foot injury, the bird was not in bad shape. We got home and got him settled in; I am pretty confident that this guy will be releasable. I never thought that all of those people would just drive around a hurt gull in that parking lot on Main Street. One woman named "Sue" cared enough to get the seagull safe, call me, and do the right thing. I am fortunate: I get to meet a lot of people like Sue.
I also want to take a moment as I end this blog to thank Joan and Allan for adopting an alpaca. They have adopted a dozen llamas from me and they decided to add a camelid cousin to their collection. They also opened up their doors to 4 muscovy ducks that needed a home. They are great people and it makes it all worthwhile watching animals go home with them .
I never thought when I started saving animals as a kid that it would progress to this. I never thought that we would grow to be the not for profit facility that we are today--with the help of our Board Of Director, volunteers and supporters, I look forward to the next several months of further expansion.
Till next time,