Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – June 16, 2020
We continue to ponder the soaring increase in our numbers of intakes although it has slowed a little from the past few weeks. We are thrilled that people are willing to scoop up a critter in trouble and bring it to Liberty Wildlife, to stand in line socially distanced in order to check in the animal and then to donate towards its care…no entitlements here. We are so grateful. It gives me hope.
As the news appears to worsen by the hour with virus spread, quarantines, shut downs, and hideous levels of social unrest…all issues that are difficult if not impossible to impact as an individual, it seems that rescuing something that is helpless lends itself to a feel good episode in an otherwise dreary time.
From my office window, I watch as animals arrive in all sorts of conveyances…boxes, cages, bags, nests. They are brought in by folks from all walks of life. All of them are carrying an animal for whom they are the only hope. These are small acts that are multiplied many, many times a day, a week, a month. These aren’t actions that will solve our current range of debilitating problems, our political divide, our floundering economy, our inability to stop the raging virus, but they are actions that give me hope.
It is easy for me to glomp on to any feeling of hope. With all of the negativity, it is a little more difficult to focus on teasing out the good that exists in everyone, but we see it blatantly at our intake window. We see looks of warmth and caring. We see delight in positive action. We see caring. And, that gives me hope.
When we see that there is a common ground, and we see it thousands of times a year, it makes me realize that we all pretty much have a shared concern for something that is suffering. Why can’t we generalize that to our neighbors, our fellow citizens of the planet?
I like to think of it as flexing our kindness muscles, building up our strength to tackle the harder jobs, to succeed at the heavy lifting. We see these kindness muscles doing repetitions all day every day of the year…that is a lot of kindness and caring. We can see the joy in the faces of people who feel good because they decided to help, to make a difference in something’s life and simultaneously in their own. That feels good; that is a meaningful lift using the kindness muscles.
Each time I see it, it gives me hope. Here’s to flexing!
This Week @ Liberty – June 16, 2020
As the first day of the official 2020 monsoon arrives, it would appear that the peak spike in arrivals may have passed at the May/June transition. If history is any indication of what is to come, the numbers of intakes would appear to be on the long, downhill slide. BUT… we certainly are not out of the woods yet as we haven’t had any storm activity and high winds and heavy rain normally have a big effect on the activity at the window. Plus, since we are sailing in uncharted waters because of coronavirus, we don’t really know what to expect. The good news is that although we are still 1609 intakes ahead of this date last year, the trend is down at this time, but NOT for donations. It has been a source of pride that the public at the intake window have been donating at a gratifying pace. I’m guessing that people just want to be a part of something positive and good in these times of division and turmoil and manifest this desire by giving, even if in a small way, to saving the little lives they find in their yards or on their daily walks. Whatever the motivation, it makes my heart “Soar like the hawk” when people give to help out the animals in need. Thanks to all who give, or even just wish they could give. You don’t know how much it means…
In a continuing effort to fully utilize all the space at the facility, we’re putting a garden in the area alongside the east wall of the medical wing. It is being constructed as an Eagle Scout project by Eagle candidate Kerrick Hemmings with assistance from the leaders and other troop members. We have hopes of growing organic veggies to help feed our growing collection of tortoises, rabbits, goats and any other herbivore animals we might encounter.
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Last week Kyle and Jen from AZGFD came out to install various bands and solar powered tracking transmitters on a juvenile bald eagle that came in recently. The bird was from a nest on the Gila River Reservation and was released last Tuesday. Unfortunately the parents failed to return so the eaglet came back to us on Friday. Next Tuesday, he will be taken to a nest near Greer to live with foster parents until he finally fledges.
(Look for 2 pictures)
Tuesday’s Vet Night saw a lot of interesting animals being treated at Liberty. A couple of new bats came in which always presents a different set of challenges. We also saw the usual assortment of great horned owls and kestrels presenting a variety of issues from wing to eye problems. a little mallard duck presented some foot issues that required the construction of a special ‘shoe’ to allow his foot to grow properly. Two tiny babies hummingbirds arrived still in their little nest which was “accidentally” chopped from a tree. They are now back in Orphan Care along with the usual assortment of “backyard birds” including among others, doves, grackles, mockingbirds and well over 50 baby Gambel’s quail in a large terrarium. We also received a fairly uncommonly colored Northern flicker that Susie brought to my attention. The little swift that came to OC is also not a frequent visitor, as is the ladder back woodpecker which is not common to this area. This mixture of birds and animals keeps the people at the intake window on their toes as they strive to correctly identify the new patients.
(Look for 15 photos)
We have a new volunteer veterinarian at Liberty. Doctor Daniela Elena Salhuana out of Plano, Texas and recent graduate of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine is now a volunteer at Liberty Wildlife. She joins the current group of dedicated veterinarians who donate their time and skills to us and the wildlife of Arizona. Welcome to the Liberty Wildlife team, Doctor Salhuana!
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A desert spiney lizard came in last week presenting entanglement in some ground netting usually used for erosion control. This pretty little reptile was otherwise uninjured but was in dire straights as she was immobilized by the plastic mesh. After a quick assessment, Debbie Ordorica went to work carefully cutting the netting off of the unlucky lizard. In just a few minutes, she had the little reptile freed from the offending confines of the constricting plastic. With the addition of some fluids and some time to rest, the spiney was set free in our outdoor reptile enclosure to roam free.
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Between Wednesday and Thursday last week, 3 three little raccoons were brought to Liberty. It seems their mother was killed by a car, leaving the three little guys to fend for themselves. The first two were brought in on Wednesday, followed by #3 on Thursday. One little guy had some issues with his eyes (maggots, actually) but otherwise, they seemed intact but very hungry and dehydrated. Jan, Alex and Debbie removed the offending critters from the little ones eyes and applied some soothing ointment so he could feel a little better. Our mammal expert, Rebecca, took the three amigos (plus the bat) and is now rehabbing them at her facility.
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With the arrival of two new “kids'” we now have a total of six goats patrolling our grounds. The latest arrivals came in last weekend and were welcomed by the staff as the cutest new groundskeepers at the facility. Totally organic and non-polluting (well, mostly), the goat squad chows down on weeds and overly long plants and weeds that we would otherwise have to cut and dispose of. They need minimal supervision (except when they get on top of my car!) and are themselves an attraction to the public now that the public is back on the property!
(Look for 1 photo)
Posted by Terry Stevens