Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – May 07, 2019
If you looked in the dictionary under tenacious, you might find a picture, so to speak, of our Hotline and Rescue volunteers. They are two of our volunteer groups who don’t get a lot of attention but are on the frontline of getting help for thousands of wild animals in need.
A perfect example of this dedication is an incident that occurred this weekend.
The Hotline received a call about a great horned owl that had been chased by a hawk into the netting of a driving range at a city golf course late Sunday afternoon. The poor owl wandered out in the daylight hours into a red tail’s turf and the battle began.
Left hanging in the afternoon heat, the owl struggled to free itself only to get more entangled. Thankfully, the hawk kept going.
The golf course officials called our Hotline and Linda who was manning the Hotline at that point started her job of dispatching a Rescue and Transport volunteer to nab the owl and bring it to Liberty Wildlife for assessment and disposition.
When Teresa and Gary arrived at the driving range and assessed the situation, they quickly determined that the owl was trapped way above our rescue equipment’s ability to help. The golf course is part of the City park system and bucket trucks might have been able to help, but none of them were readily available. It would be morning before they could assist and everyone knew the owl would likely not make it that long.
Teresa, Gary and Linda explored many options and ended up contacting a fire department close by. In general, this isn’t an option for the fire department as human emergency situations take precedence. In desperation, the rescuers went home to await word from potential helpers. Shortly, they received a call that the fire department was on the scene with ladders allowing them to reach the owl. One of the hero responders deftly cut the owl out of the netting, very expertly controlling the feet, the business end of the owl, and brought it down to safety.
Teresa and Gary completed the rescue thanks to the determination and tenacity of the Hotline and the Rescue and Transport volunteers, along with a little help from our Fire Department friends. The greatest part is that all of these people involved in saving this owl’s life can revel in the fact that the owl appears to be a little ticked off but in general will be returned to the wild…close to where he came from in no time at all. If he was sent off by his mate to bring home the bacon, he won’t be too late in delivering the goods.
Thanks to all of you for your determination and follow through!
And, as a little ad, don’t forget Liberty Wildlife has a Summer Camp, Camp Liberty, starting in the first week of June with a second camp the third week of June. There are limited spots for your entering third graders to sixth graders. You can go on line, https://libertywildlife.org/education/camp/ to sign up. Treat your youngsters to an adventure they won’t forget. Sign up now and support Liberty Wildlife’s mission to nurture the nature of Arizona.
This Week @ Liberty – May 07, 2019
You can see by the numbers that the “season” has begun. Last Week, we took in 154 animals on the first two days, and we’ve been averaging 50 per day since then, putting us 238 ahead of this date last year. But we all knew that May is always our busiest month… A couple of other EVENTS happened and more of the day-to-day rescues and medical care are continually transpiring. We try to get more of these into TW@L as they occur, so stick with us and see what’s going on at Liberty!
As Megan recounted above in H3 above, we got a great assist from the Phoenix Fire Department over the weekend. We really try to minimize our using that resource as these guys have more critical things to do than pluck owls from golf course netting, but they have some equipment to which we have no access and once in a while, they are the only hope these unfortunate animals have. Thanks, guys! You are simply the BEST! (A few years ago, Jan said we need to get an airplane so I could fly animals in from around the state. I told her, we don’t need an airplane, we need a bucket truck! Still true today…)
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Last Tuesday was “Vet Night” as usual, when we have volunteer veterinarians (and future veterinarians!) coming in to treat the myriad birds and other animals that are in our care. These creatures get the best medical treatment they could possibly imagine provided by the dedicated volunteers at our facility. Several baby owls came in with injuries from falling from elevated nests. Despite their young age, a few got pins surgically installed by skilled vets. This is another example of how great it is to have our own digital radiology machine on site. This also helped in the case of a female Harris’ hawk presenting gunshot wounds where every pellet resulted in a fractured bone. She’s a fighter and is responding well to treatment so far. One small dove came in with massive electrical burns affecting most of its feathers which we normally only see in larger raptors. A tree trimmer brought in a box containing the branches he lopped off, along with the nest and two hummingbird babies that were hatched in that nest. If there is one sad note, it’s that Dr. Orr is finally moving to Panama to enjoy her well deserved retirement and this was one of the last times she’ll be here to apply her vast experience to the afternoon. The good news is, she leaves behind a team of young vets who will carry on the work of Liberty Wildlife for years to come.
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Recently someone brought in a baby possum they found on the roadside fairly near downtown Phoenix. As this is a “Virginia Possum”, it would seem that someone brought him (or his pregnant mother) to this area and then either dumped him out or he released himself before he could have survived on his own. He is still in our care and appears to be doing well at this point.
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We celebrated Arbor Day recently and those who attended appeared to have an enjoyable time. Lots of activities were offered centered around a “Harry Potter” theme complete with a sorting hat, our Wish Tree, DIY garden instructions and materials, and local children’s authors doing readings for the kids who were here. As always, attendees were able to tour the west side attractions and get photos of themselves with some of our wildlife ambassadors!
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Last Saturday we held our Wine and Whiskey with Wildlife event at the facility. Visitors got to stroll the grounds to live music while sipping wonderful libations from local and national wineries and distilleries including Adventurous Stills, OHSO Brewery and Distillery, and The Novelist. There were raffles and auctions, plus a wine pull and as always, meet & greets by some of Liberty’s birds and animals. Some truly outstanding food was prepared by Chef Doug and served courtesy of the Bourbon Cellar along with live music by Nina Curi and Doug Schultz. All reports are that everyone had a wonderful time and Liberty made some new friends along the way!
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The young bald eagle that was here for the past few weeks was finally ready to go back to a nest this week. Kyle and Jennifer from AZGFD picked up the bird and transported it back to an active nest with attentive parents to complete the process prior to fledging. Another bald eagle success story for Liberty’s record!
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Posted by Terry Stevens
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