Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rainy Days and Sundays....

Rainy days and sundays dont get me down, I hate mondays. I got home from school yesterday to a ringing phone. An NYS Trooper was on the phone. Gave me his location on I88 and asked if I could come over for a search and recovery of a fawn who was crossing the highway with its mother when the doe was struck and killed. His obligation was to highway safety, mine was to finding the doomed fawn. I got there quick, I went to where he had last seen the fawn. A couple of Troopers joined me in the search, along with the DOT guys that were in the truck to pick up the dead doe in the guardrails. We looked for awhile with no luck, the fawns have such a strong instinct to hide and stay put. A schoolbus driver pulled over (on a road that runs parrell to the highway) and asked if we were looking for a fawn. I said yes, she said where, I got there and caught a very panic stricken fawn that was overheated and starting to stress out. This orphan got another chance.

I got back to our facility to call a guy back about a woodpecker that he found with a broken wing, his wife said that they let it go.... the whole story doesnt make sense. Ive had several calls this year and by the time I follow up they say that it is dead, they gave it to someone else (never know the rehabbers name) or that they let it go. I usually know when they are lying. People are the worst with fawns and baby raccoons, some baby animals are cute and people want to keep them as pets. The public do not get the risks because they havn't been trained in the care of these orphans nor do they know the health hazards of having exposure to them with zoonotic diseases (diseases that can pass from animals to humans easily). Wild animals do not make good pets. Wild animals make horrible pets and belong in the wild.

Once home and settled in, I started doing rounds at our facility and realized that the Oppossum that came in last night wasnt eating, not good.....off to the vet. The vet took a look and told me what I already realized and the Possum was euthanized. Broken jaws can be set but this possum was very old. Most Possums only live about 2 years in the wild....this one was well over that. I made the decision to euthanize (with the vet) because it is the most humane thing to do in some cases. Could I have kept the possum alive, most likely but for how long? She already has cataracts, would never be releasable, was at the end of her life cycle already....it was the easiest- toughest decision that rehabbers have to make. I do what I would want someone to do if I was in that spot, try if there is hope, give a dignified death if it is torture to keep alive.

Got home from the vet, figured that since I was already in a lousy mood that I should move the three coons out to the transition shed with the others.... The 3 Musketeers have gotten into my heart. They are the same size as some of the other coons that are out in the transition shed already. These baby coons are well weaned on their mushy meals so I figured if it was time to move them out of the nursery to completely ruin the day. Into the nursery I went, grabbed their varikennel and out the door I went. In the transition shed they have a great family enclosure, hollow sleeping den, enrichment toys, food, swimming bowl....what more could some little coons want? Well..... all they wanted was me. They reached through the caging with their paws trying to reach me, cried at deicebels that I never heard out of their noisy little mouths.... you would have thought that I had thrown them into the depths of hell. It was tough to block it all out. I just ran home at lunch to check on them, nothing has changed except some of the screaming....but it will, it will have to if they are going to be sucessfully be put back into the wild with the others. While home for lunch I checked the messages, I have a red winged blackbird and another baby racoon coming in after school. Both hit by cars, I cant believe the numbers of injured and killed wildlife that I am seeing from along roads this spring....slow down. Till tomorrow, Wes

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