Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – June 04, 2019
Liberty Wildlife is known for our skills in wildlife rehabilitation. Our successes continue to grow as does our reputation in dealing with over 150 different species of wildlife resulting
in release rates that rival all other facilities of our size although there aren’t many!
Another of our outstanding programs is our natural history and environmental education program. Last year we provided over 1000 educational experiences to thousands and thousands of students
of all ages. In the age of STEM (for those of you living in solitude this stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), we have made an effort to bring life into what sounds like some pretty cold stuff. We have addressed state standards in our programming in all areas possible.
Our education volunteers go through training to handle the animals and care for them. They go through training to present the concepts that are the workings in the natural world and how
all of us fit into it. They learn how to take a subject that could be “hi brow” and turn it into an engaging experience that is memorable and moving. What could be better?
In light of that activity, we are always trying to improve and grow…just as we have in our rehab efforts. In April, we were fortunate to have a visit from a delightful and talented gentleman, Chris Jenkins.
If you have been thrilled watching a bird show at any Disney theme park or major zoo around the world, you have seen Chris’ work. He has been writing and producing those shows for 20+ years.
After touring Liberty Wildlife, he was very complimentary and generously gave of his time and talents to share with us some guidelines to follow to take full advantage of all that we have here.
He said that Liberty has something unique going for it – small and intimate instead of huge and disconnected. People can see animals and talk to handlers. He said talking to the handlers
was one of the primary motivators of “Superior” ratings on Denver Zoo comment cards. We have that ability!
Liberty Wildlife has the ability to show wildlife up close and personal, to provide “training” that allows the animal ambassadors (non-releasable native wildlife) to teach the public about
species appropriate behaviors leaving a lasting impression and an indelible learning experience. Chris was very helpful in in leaving us with some key points stressing:
up close and personal, taking advantage of the facility’s assets like the amphitheater and its potential to provide interactive experiences with handlers and wildlife;
the message should be engaging and personify our theme;
engagement with the public in this manner leaves a lasting impression and an indelible message.
It was indeed a fortunate day for Liberty Wildlife to have had the opportunity to take advantage of the vast experiences that Chris so generously shared. My guess is that if you have been here once and have seen the offerings presented….that you will want to come again for
even more up close and personal experiences with Liberty Wildlife’s Handler/trainers and their stunning wildlife ambassadors.
The mantra is: Liberty Wildlife – Up Close and Personal!
This Week @ Liberty – June 04, 2019
Last year on this date is was 108 degrees. So far, this has been a remarkably benign Spring, with Summer only 3 weeks away. The down side might be that Monsoon season officially begins in 2 weeks! The first big storm usually sets loose a torrent of intakes, so lets all hope THAT is not the case this year. Currently we are in the middle of the “white wing dove” period, but as you’ll see from the photos, we also took in some other not-so-common species as well. Some of these are not uncommon, and some are rarer than one would imagine, but all get the same first-rate medical care that the more prosaic species receive when come to us for help. Along with our usual task of providing medical intervention when needed, today was the first day of Liberty Wildlife Summer Camp 2019! The kids all seem to be having a good time and are certainly learning a lot in the process. Let’s have a look at the last two weeks…
Besides the normal bunch of owls, hawks, and doves, we took in at least one acorn woodpecker last week These pretty little birds are more normally found up on the rim but this one came in from just east of hear. Whether he was passing though or just liked it here, we’ll never know. Perhaps the unusually cool weather of late drew him down the hill.
Swallows are not terribly rare and have been known to reside on the walls of overpasses and bridges around the area. This little guy might have been blown out of a nest during one of the high wind advisory days we had recently.
We do occasionally get tortoises “not of the desert” variety, either Russian or more commonly, the African Sulcata type. This guy was pretty hefty and was quickly transferred to the Phoenix Herpetological Society for care and disposition.
We have been getting more than our usual share of orphan squirrels this spring, both round tail ground squirrels and rock squirrels like this guy. They are keeping the people in the “Bunny Room” on their toes as they are fed and monitored prior to release.
Look for five pictures.
Some of the orphans that we take in are still too little to be placed with adult foster parents. When the baby owls are too small for their new families, the team in ICU can fill in with the proper camouflage. This allows feeding while preventing imprinting on humans which would prevent them from being released in the future. It might not be Haute Couture, but it lets us keep these babies wild so they can eventually go free, and that’s fashion enough for us!
Look for one picture.
Even on the weekends, animals get the best care at Liberty Wildlife! Dr. Mike Sorum and his helper Emily who works with Dr. Driggers were in Triage on Sunday providing expert medical care for the many animals that came in on the weekend. Dr. Mike has been helping us out for years since we were still in the old facility in Scottsdale. Only now, we have our own digital X-ray machine so he doesn’t have to bring his portable unit any more!
Look for two pictures.
Dr. Lapa is another veterinarian now volunteering at Liberty. He joins an ever growing team of talented doctors who volunteer their skills to care for the owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, and all the rest of the animals that are brought to Liberty Wildlife for life-saving treatment. We are very lucky, and very appreciative of the time and talent they give to us and to the wildlife of Arizona. These people donate a remarkable portion of their lives so these animals don’t have to suffer alone in silence. Along with all the dedicated volunteers who rescue, record, clean, feed, and monitor the thousands of birds, mammals, and reptiles we take in each year, they make an inestimable difference.
Look for 11 pictures.
For the second year, we are offering a Summer Camp for kids at Liberty Wildlife. Fun and educational activities are presented each day and all who attend seem to enjoy the time spent at the facility.
Look for two pictures.
Not only has John Glitsos provided us with some absolutely indispensable computer applications, he has also put together some great educational programs, including the Duck Experience featuring “Cheese and Quackers” – two Indian Runner ducks. The audience not only loves to watch them as they move around the amphitheater, but they get to participate in feeding them and even some games with the two entertaining and informative stars. There are more programs coming with a trained crow and a special “star” arriving soon!
Look for two pictures.
Posted by Terry Stevens
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