The last day of summer, how depressing (like we had a summer). Wooly Caterpillars are saying long cold winter (when isn't it). :) In the last week, we have met some great people and gotten some new animals in. Last week we had a call on a wild turkey that got hit near Howe Caverns. That didn't end well but it didn't go to waste; the foxes left little to tell what they had done. I met some great folks when I picked up the turkey, they have alpacas and they visited this weekend to meet the three alpacas that I have available for adoption. In the process, I am hoping that we might be able to get the building materials we need to get the raptor flight started before the snow flies. Connections and destiny ... time will tell.
I have another "raccoon friend" I am hoping will help us get a pond in for rehabbing beaver and geese/ ducks that come in. Again ... time will tell.
Some great students from the SUNY Cobleskill Wildlife Program found a goldfinch with a wing mutation on a hike. The bird is unreleasable and must have been fed by parents, a luxury that will end soon with their migration. Good deed done, and I have a student that may want to do an internship with me in the process.
Saturday, I took the donkeys, alpacas, some other critters looking for homes, with some Raptors, to the Irish Festival at the Ballston Spa /Saratoga Co. Fairgrounds. It was a great day; the birds were a big hit and we got a chance to educate a lot of people about wildlife. It really doesn't get any better than that. Our donation jar did well and the people were very interested in what we do. Our educational events are vital to what we do and I hope we can book more events next year.
Yesterday, I had a great group of students come in for a tour of NY Wildlife Rescue Facility. They are a 4H group from Delhi, asked great questions, were respectful and want to help out in the future. I really like kids and animals; I love educating kids about wildlife conservation. 4H is such a valuable club for young people to be involved in. Anything that doesn't involve being stuck inside the house on a computer should be promoted. Their generation will see some horrible things environmentally; they will be the generation to, hopefully, go green.
I also have spent a lot of time the last week on paperwork. I hate it, but it is a necessity to keep good records for the various agencies that license me. Doing reports at the end of the year is easy when you have kept good records all year.
Last night, I actually took off my boots at 8:30 pm. The phone rang about 5 minites later. I recognized the number on caller ID, "New York Wildlife Rescue Center, this is Wes".... "This is Trooper (such and such) of the NY State Police, do you rescue coyotes?" Ten minutes later I was wrestling around in a ditch with it. I appreciate that he called me rather than just shooting it on the spot. I know a lot of people would rather it had been killed but I am a rehabber, not God. I don't rescue animals that I like and leave others to die.
The only thing that I could think of as I was grabbing it with my catch pole was that a dart would have been nice. That was the reason I took the chemical capture class at Tufts this summer. One of these days I am going to get a call for something bigger than me. I also thought about Oscar the bobcat; I bet that he felt the exact same way. Eyes in spotlights, blue and red lights, the sounds and smell of man ... and being helpless to move. I took the coyote to Cobleskill Vet Clinic where we knocked her out, did an exam and administered steroids. She is trying to get on her haunches but has a lower spine inflammation. I am trying to get her back in for an x-ray so I can figure out if we can really save her or if it would be more humane to put her down. I have never rescued a coyote before, a lot of people would like to see the vermin dead but you want to hear something interesting. I noticed that her feces looked funny, I looked through them and she had been feeding entirely on apples ... things that make you go hmmmmmmm. I am not God, I will spend a couple of hundred dollars to see what is wrong and give her a chance. If she is showing signs of pain or the damage is too great ... she will go to sleep. I will keep you posted.