Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – Dec 17, 2018
‘Tis the season that makes me smile….not sure about the jolly part yet. All of the sudden there are endearing articles in the newspaper and on line. We have had a long period of just dreadful news no matter what politics, sports, or entertainment sides you line up on. But, recently, I have had my faith renewed.
Here’s one thing that caught my eye and made me smile. An article on line lauded the efforts of students as young as 6 years old who saw and recognized a problem and set about to make a difference. Their observations and emphasis included the homeless, in particular, children with no homes, orphans, food challenged, poorly clothed, and it also extended into areas near and dear to my heart…the environment. Some of them raised funds to protect the rain forest, recycle items, and to save endangered species.
They supported non-profit organizations in sync with their causes, which took research and connecting on their part to make a difference. If no organization existed to match their causes, they created them. As a person in charge of a non-profit with all of the regulations and issues surrounding it, I recognize not only the passion but also, the efforts involved.
A common thread that ran through the stories was the support that each child found through their families. For me this proves my theory that philanthropy and action are sometimes innate but more often they are taught. Compassion can be an inner drive of an individual, but it helps immensely if there is a mentor in the works.
On occasion at Liberty Wildlife, we get a call from a parent letting us know that their child has requested that their birthday party guests bring a gift for Liberty Wildlife or that donations are made to Liberty instead of a birthday present. Or, the child has saved allowances, opened a lemonade stand, or walked the neighbor’s dogs to earn money to donate to us.
To me, those are the kids that will create solutions. Those are the kids who will grow up to be active in the community. Those are the kids who search their souls at the end of the year, to give their annual donations to a worthy cause they believe in. Those are the kids who get involved in any way that they can. Those are the kids who grow up to drive and support campaigns for causes.
If you are an adult reading this, it probably fits the description of your children. And, it probably fits the description of you. For that, I thank you.
Those are the kids who will save our world. Thinking about them makes me smile, and that feels very good for a change.
This Week @ Liberty – Dec 17, 2018
The intakes have pretty much bottomed out as there was one day recently where only 1 animal came to the window. Not that I’m complaining, because in a couple of months, they’ll be lining up down the sidewalk in front of the intake portal! But it never really stops and this respite gives us time to plan for the inevitable onslaught to come. Plus, we are always getting injured yearlings which keep our vets and techs busy on Vet Night and beyond. We will be instituting some new formats for Nature News coming up so keep up to date on that. Here’s what happened recently…
Each year, we go through the list of species in roughly the same order, the first being hummingbirds. We have four currently in the brooder in Triage, being fed almost round-the-clock. The oldest has been going on periodic training flights inside the case while the others sit and watch him flying and hovering above their heads. The good news is they seem to grow fairly fast and will soon be released to go on about their business!
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Another early arrival at the intake area was this cotton tail bunny. He presented verified pain response but seemed unable to move his hind legs very much. Dr. Tan decided he would be a good subject for cold laser and acupuncture treatment followed by cage rest and observation. We’ll try to update his condition as it unfolds…
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A white domestic goose came to us with evidence of having ingested some fishing gear. A quick trip down the hall to the Radiology room confirmed he had swallowed two small fish hooks. One in his throat is hopefully accessible orally, but the one farther in will possibly require surgery for removal.
C’mon you fishermen, clean up after yourselves!
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The ferruginous hawk from up near Show Low was checked out during vet night last week. There is considerable damage to most of this feathers, but so far, it appears that he suffered only flash burns. This happens when a ball of electrical fire escapes from an exploding relay or other piece of equipment. Feathers are generally singed or burned to the quills, but sometimes the bird is lucky enough to be blown clear of the real current and does not get burned internally. In this case , given enough time (six months to a year) he can be fed and protected while the majority of the feathers molt out and are naturally replaced. The bird can then be released back into its territory and can resume life as it was prior to the injury.
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A variety of hawks and falcons were attended to on Vet Night last week, each getting expert care by experienced professionals. The usual suspects were brought out for their weekly exam – an injured red tail, a peregrine falcon, and a gorgeous Harris’ hawk – each checked for progress and any additional treatment being recommended.
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Recently we have taken in several accipiters, both Cooper’s and sharp shinned for care. As our staff of new volunteer veterinarians examine these volatile raptors, a new crop of avian killers is readied for release to help control the flocks songbirds and other passerines in backyards everywhere. But that’s how nature works and people need to appreciate that predator and prey are two sides of the same coin. The passerine population requires the presence of hunters such as these to remain healthy and Liberty Wildlife does its part to maintain the balance of nature.
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Another new young veterinarian is volunteering at Liberty Wildlife. Dr. Alyssa Scagnelli is currently working with Dr. Driggers at his clinic in Mesa, but is spending some time volunteering with us. Last week I got some shots of her doing an exam on a great horned owl on Vet Night. You might notice a lot of similarities between this owl’s exam and your own – looking into the mouth (say “AHH”), checking for range of motion, listening to the heart and chest, using an ophthalmoscope to look into the eyes – it seems birds are not that different from humans!
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A 5 year old California condor was brought to us recently by the Peregrine Fund people who monitor the eastern colony for wellness and any health problems they might present. This young bird was having trouble standing which caused the PF folks some concern. Apparently he was not eating well either although his crop seemed full. These birds can weigh in at 25 lbs. and more when healthy so when they don’t eat right and begin to lose weight, it was decided to bring him in for examination and observation. He is also being tested for west nile virus and we’re still awaiting those results. The good news is he seems to have regained his appetite!
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And a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all readers of THIS WEEK @ LIBERTY!!!
Posted by Terry Stevens