Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – February 25, 2020
Two of my childhood pals visited me this weekend… elementary school friends from my hometown. It was my pleasure to be able to show them around Liberty Wildlife. Not having had a lot of contact with them over the many years I have lived in Arizona, I realized how different my life is now from the ‘old days’. Pretty much anyone can say that, I suppose!
When trying to explain my passions, I realized that much of what I do today had its origins in my past in central Texas. There, we were allowed to roam free after school to frequent the creek that meandered through our neighborhood, climb the many trees in the yard, and collect bugs, catch lizards and otherwise terrorize the creatures in the name of science and rescue. It isn’t hard to see how I got where I am now. My friends took a very different path…but still they were interested… they got it…they got where I was then and where I am now. They seemed to appreciate it.
In my attempt to explain Liberty Wildlife, I talked about our mission. I waxed on about our messages, and our hopes for outcomes. They got it.
They met the education ambassadors during open hours and couldn’t get enough of what they heard from experienced teacher/handlers. They admired the reptiles and the messages that they tell without a shudder or uncomfortable squirm. They cheered the ducks on as the competed with the humans in the mealworm/Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. They marveled at the environmental message of ‘no poison pest control’ that the duck experience teaches…yep, hard not to get such a graphic message.
They met the goats…soon to grow to a productive herd of herbivores controlling the burgeoning unwanted non-native plants we call weeds that have sprung up everywhere with the bountiful rainy season. Here’s a message of non-poisonous weed control that is provided to a fascinated audience….yet a another teaching opportunity shouted out. Let’s not forget the fertilizer outcomes of voracious goats… Once again my visitors got it.
All-in-all, I am proud to show off our facility. I am proud of our staff and volunteers, I am proud of our animal teachers and workers. I am proud of our donors whose funding allows us to make it all happen. It is so easy to present what we do. And, it is gratifying that those visitors all seem to get it. That they get it makes it doubly worthwhile.
Mission is everything. Mission completed.
This Week @ Liberty – February 25, 2020
Lots of bunnies, and lots of hummingbirds, plus the first few bona fide orphans of the year make this update. In addition to the fluffy yellow baby pigeon, we took in a nestling Abert’s Towhee. The season is upon us…
Our first event of 2020 took place on the 15th as our annual “Sippin’ the Spirits of the Southwest” was held at the facility. The weather was nearly perfect and from all reports, everyone enjoyed the day – and the libations! We have also added a couple of new Education Ambassadors to our team which will help us continue to expand the Educational reach of Liberty. Let’s see what all this looked like…
As long as we were in Dr. Orr’s back yard in Scottsdale, we were really limited in giving tours of the operation. One of the best things about our new location is that we can now have various groups from the public come on site and tour the facility as they learn about both the wildlife of Arizona and what services we perform. Recently Laura and the Education team had a full schedule when several soups came out to take tours. On one day, we hosted visitors from Roadrunner School, students from ASU Design School, and the City of Phoenix Special Needs Program. As word gets out that we are here, the opportunities to connect with various environmental and educational organizations will continue to grow. On another day, a local Volkswagen van club came to our facility to meet. Gotta love the VW van!
(Look for two pictures.)
Vet Night (historically done on Tuesdays) is fairly slow these days when intakes are mostly in the single digits each day. But as we get deeper into springtime, the numbers will certainly increase. In May, when we are accepting over 90 per day at the intake window, we’ll all look back wistfully on times like this.
(Look for two pictures.)
We have a couple of new additions to our collection of non-releasable animals that will become wildlife ambassadors. A pink-toed tarantula was a pet that was surrendered and will soon be inhabiting an enclosure in the Interactive Classroom. We don’t get in a lot of arachnids and this multi-legged baby spider will be a fine addition to the crew.
Recently we accepted a white-tailed hawk from a facility in Brownsville Texas. It seems the bird, an adult (probably female due to her size) came in to the Glady’s Porter Zoo presenting a missing wing. No word on what caused the amputation, but they made her available and we acquired her for our Education collection. After she has had time to acclimate to her new surroundings, we will start her training to be an education ambassador.
(Look for two pictures)
A few months ago, Arizona Game and Fish officers brought us a golden eagle they found up near Kingman. The bird presented a droopy right wing and apparently could not fly. Further examination revealed tendon and nerve damage of unknown origin and it was not long after that she was determined to be in the “Injured – non releasable” category. Being an otherwise beautiful example of an Arizona native golden eagle, we applied to have her added to our education permit. She will now begin her training and eventually join Anasazi and Paco as education eagles.
(Look for two pictures.)
Last week we held our annual “Sippin’ the Spirits of the Southwest” event, featuring various drinks and food with a southwestern flavor. The weather was perfect and the cowboy theme pervaded the event. As always, our Educational ambassadors were present and were big crowd pleasers, along with BBQ and live music. The raffles added to the excitement and the day turned out to be a lot of fun for all who attended.
(A special “thanks” to Intake volunteer Regina Krywalski for filling in as event photographer.)
(Look for 14 pictures.)
Posted by Terry Stevens