Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – February 15, 2022
Groundhog Day has passed, with predictions for yet more winter, though that likely won’t mean much here in the southwest desert. And now the Super Bowl too is in the history books. But not before our campus wildlife got into the spirit of offering their predictions for the big game. After no-decision “choices” made by our Rams representatives (the goats), and the Bengals representative (Bobby the bobcat), and a very bland choice made by the love birds, finally our own Rosie the Gila monster chose the winner of Super Bowl LVI. In front of a live Liberty Wildlife audience, she consumed with abandon the egg marked for the Rams… her initial interest in the Bengal egg was tempered and she then moved resolutely to the Rams as her choice of a Super Bowl winner… sort of like the actual game. Rosie knows her football. Go Rosie!
Our audiences this weekend delighted in a very well attended Nature Walk, which brought an interested group of people on campus. And they exhibited great curiosity in the new, large, and still empty Condor enclosure under construction. The unveiling of this new exhibit is greatly anticipated as Liberty Wildlife soon plans to add another “feather to our cap.” We will be the only rehabilitation organization that we are aware of to add two California condors to our educational trail.
The two non-releasable California condors, Marble and Millie, will be on view soon to teach about the beauty and benefits of their species…not to mention their struggles for survival.
To increase the excitement, we will continue, after an extended Covid absence, large on-campus events. So please plan to join us for our Condors and Cocktails celebration on Saturday, Mar. 26 from 4 to 7pm. The campus will be humming—with live music, food trucks, and lots of wildlife and educators to interpret and introduce you to the splendor of our campus.
We are quite excited to be able to display these beautiful creatures, thanks to the generosity of Darlene and Glenn Fitchet—longtime supporters of our mission. Thank you to Rick Erman, Brooke Pybus, and Matt Presti for their efforts in the construction of the enclosure. The condors have an important story to tell and thanks to the Fitchets, as well as Arizona Game & Fish, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Peregrine Fund, and the Condor Recovery Team. We look forward to the chance to tell their fascinating story to you.
Join us on March 26th to meet Marble and Millie!
This Week @ Liberty – February 15, 2022
It’s still pretty slow at the intake window, but with the temps beginning to rise again, it won’t be long before the orphans will start showing up in large numbers. As long as the numbers remain low, I’ll try to keep TW@L interesting with information about new projects and improvements we’re making as well as awesome animals that do happen to make an appearance. We’re always striving to improve the Liberty Wildlife Experience! If any super-cool medical procedures take place, I’ll try to get some photos and cover the action.
As we saw in the last update, there are some changes to some of the structures around the facility. One is the new California condor enclosure which is taking shape near the current vulture pavilion. Along with this, new steel doors are being fabricated and installed on many of the existing enclosures on the Educational trail on the west side. These should enhance the security and longevity of the existing enclosures. Along with these improvements, a new habitat is being built for our star Indian Runner ducks, Cheese and Quackers. This is going up just west of the current set of tortoise habitats. All of these changes and improvements are designed to enhance the educational experience for visitors to our facility. Thank you Mike Pedersen for his work on the Indian Runner duck enclosure and to Rick Erman for installing the new steel doors.
(Look for 4 pictures.)
BARN OWL SURGERY
Although the Education department at Liberty was originally conceived because of a gunshot great horned owl, we thankfully don’t get a lot of gunshot owls in for medical intervention. That being said, recently, a barn owl was brought in that had been shot with the ubiquitous .177cal pellet (visible in the X-ray). This caused breaks in both the radius and ulna in its wing. The fractures were not strictly mid-shaft, but close enough that it was thought the damage could be corrected without causing the mobility of the elbow joint to become compromised. As happens in a bird’s wing, when bones are immobilized for an appreciable length of time by a cast or splint, the joints adjacent to the repair will sometimes fuse. This stiffening of the joint, especially in wings, will lead to the loss of articulation which can impede the flight ability of the patient. In this case, Dr. Attarian was able to install a pin to stabilize the bones to allow them to heal.
(Look for 7 pictures.)
NEW CONDOR HABITAT
The construction of the new condor enclosure is progressing apace. All the major components are built off-site and then delivered to the facility. Due to their size and weight, the sections had to be unloaded and moved into the area by mobile crane. The corner sections were first to be placed on the bolts in the concrete footings. After all four were installed, the roof sections were hoisted into place. After all the pieces were in position, extra bracing members were welded on to strengthen the structure. The doors and supports for ramps will follow. It will be a great addition to the Education Trail!
(Look for 8 pictures)
ODDS and ENDS
With the departures of some of our Medical Services volunteers, new members are taking over in Triage, gaining experience as we come into the peak period of Springtime. Acacia and Jacob are now filling in on Thursdays and Dr. Hannah Attarian is now a regular on Saturdays, helping out with Dr. Lamb. There are more new people in the pipeline and I’ll try to get pics of them at work as I can.
John is still working with Jax and the Indian runner ducks until he moves up to Pinetop.
Recently we took in an injured crested caracara with a badly fractured wing. The young bird is the first of his species to be in our care and if it is approved, he will make a wonderful addition to our education collection of ambassadors.
(Look for 8 pictures.)
Posted by Terry Stevens
Liberty Wildlife Volunteer