Friday, June 5, 2009

This, that and the other thing

I dont name wildlife but I think that I just came up with some more racoon names..... so far we have B#@&^, Whine, Moan, Crazy, Clueless (and now) This, That and the "Other Thing". That is 8, I only have to come up with 3 more names for the 11 coons here now. 6 are in the transition shed, too small to be getting bottles in the nursery but weaned and not big enough to go the the Coon Enclosure. The coon that came last night was hanging out by her dead mother in the road. We have all accidentally hit animals, people that do it on purpose I just dont get. Wednesday night was going well, it was my daughter Emmas 7th birthday and no one had called for assistance with Wildlife. It was a good day. I got caught up with a lot of things around the farm, was actually mowing the lawn at 10 pm with the tractor headlights....I am the only guy I know that mows his lawn at midnight, just dont have enough time in the day.

Got off the tractor to go in at 10pm to have Bday Cake with Emma. Shortly after 10 pm, I had a fawn come in with a badly broken back leg from getting run over by a tractor and hay baler. I get these fawns every year, they have such strong instincts to stay hidden in the grass that they wont run and reveal themselves....not even to a noisy tractor. I doctored on this guy and got him set up in the nursery, good thing that I took a class on deer splinting at the last Wildlife Conference.... I knew that I would need to do it, decided that I would wait for help and gave the fawn a bottle, some Metacam and put a sheet over the small crate so that it was tightly confined and quiet.

Last night things were back to usual, emails and calls to school, lots of calls....had 3 calls on baby coons with dead mothers in the road. Had some high school guys from Cobleskill High School call to see if they could volunteer at our facility this weekend. My son had a concert at school, he plays drums.... Ive never seen so many people in such a hot gym in my life. Translation "it was a wonderful concert"....Left early to get home for a lady that brought me a toad from Grafton State Park. Just an average toad that was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got run over by a lawn mower losing a front foot and get wacked around pretty bad. I don't normally get many calls for reptiles or amphibians. Ive named him "Captain" and if he survives the infection he will get fit for an artificial limb/hook and be released..... Just kidding, he will be fine and can get around without his front foot just fine once healed. Also waiting in the driveway after the great concert was one of my students with her family, they had a blackbird that they found in the road. A quick inspection revealed no major injuries, by the time that they had left it had died (I guestimate from head trama/internal injuries and stress). Win some, try to forget the ones that didnt even give you a chance to try to help them. My goal was to be to bed at a normal hour (by midnight)....

I was well on my way and then I got a phone call from another Wildlife Rescue group (good wildlife rehabbers all network amongst themselves) to check in with what I was doing. We got talking and they agreed to transport, take and get the fawn with the broken rear leg to the vets, xrayed, set, etc... That is the best thing for him, even if splinted properly they often dont heal right so I drove the fawn to the meeting place by the highway and transferred him to one of their volunteer drivers to be transfered on to the rehabber and vet that was waiting for him.

"Baler" and "Baby Girl", in quiet quarters till "Baler" gets
permission to move about more. Photo by Trish, the wildlife
rehabber who is housing them.

Got home after 11, made another round of bottles and actually got to talk to my wife without the phone ringing or kids fighting or some baby animal demanding my attention. Wildlife Rehabbers love complaining about "orphan season" but we love every second of it. It is over almost before it begins and before we know it "our babies" will be ready for release back into the wild..... Wildlife Rehabilitation, the toughest job you will ever not get paid to do ...... while you spend thousands of dollars..... Ive spent $150 in coon replacer, $50- in fawn replacer, $178. in more lumber for the Raptor Center and over $50- in truck fuel running around JUST THIS WEEK.....Please send checks to keep us going, Ive already spent my kids college fund (think Im kidding)..... Also on the horizon, 8 alpacas that need to be rescued and gelded.....yes, I will be looking for money to help with that $2000- vet bill and good homes to adopt them....Back to work, Wes

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