Sunday, October 14, 2007

Getting a Second Chance

Wildlife rehabilitators are a special breed of people. Basically, I'm in awe of them. The time and commitment they give to our wild neighbors that are sick or injured is nothing short of heroic. Julie Z. comes to mind. Taking a little animal with you in your purse to outings because it needs to be fed every 20 minutes or so, now THAT's commitment. At a time, I thought that I would like to go through the training to become one. But, I realized that I was way too sensitive. Okay, I'm a wuss. Not dealing with blood and all that stuff, I have no problem with that. But death is a part of life of the wildlife rehabber and I think each little death would affect me too much.

Yesterday, Second Chance Wildlife Center, the largest wildlife rehab center in my county had its annual Open House. This is their one and only fundraiser for the year. My neighbor Karin and I went to support them and to see what animals they were currently housing.

This is Nic, a Great Horned Owl. Nic doesn't live at the Sanctuary. Folks from West Virginia raised Nic, who was injured at a very early age. He goes to various festivals and schools to raise awareness about wildlife.

Yes, even pigeons, the Rodney Dangerfield of birds, get respect and care at the Center.

This poor male box turtle was brought in with an amputated leg. They said he is recovering nicely and will be able to be released. If he were a she, she would not be releaseable since females needed both their legs in order to dig holes to lay their eggs.

These great high school kids come by to volunteer to feed the second season brood of baby squirrels. If case you were wondering, the girl on the right had her face painted with a spider and web.

Some of you may remember that it took a neighborhood effort to bring a very young baby squirrel up to Second Chance some weeks ago. Well, I'm happy to report that he/she survived. They had so many, though, they couldn't tell me which one it was, but given the date we brought the little one in, they could show us the cage where basically all the squirrels of that age were.

This could be our little squirrel-friend. God speed little doodle.


cat59 said...

Little doodle. That is so cute. What a great opportunity to be able to go see the animals they are rehabilitating.

Mary said...

I love its name - Little Doodle. How sweet! You have a heart like mine - easily broken.

KGMom said...

Oh oh oh I love the little squirrel. What a treat that would be to feed a baby squirrel.

possumlady said...

Yes, if I lived closer I would be SO there to volunteer to feed the squirrels. But it is a good 45 minutes away taking a very congested highway there and back. Maybe when I retire?

Oh, and I hate to burst your bubble. Little Doodle is a cute name but I was actually using a line from Ned Flanders in The Simpsons. Ned Flanders, Bart and Homer were lost at sea and starving. They used the last cheez doodle to try and catch a fish and as Homer throws it overboard Ned utters "Godspeed little doodle." I was wondering if anyone would pick up on it, but knowing this crowd, I should have guessed no!

cat59 said...

Haha. . .that's funny about Little Doodle. . .you're right--wrong crowd for that reference!

I have a question for you. Do you believe there are any good reasons for zoos and is there a watchdog group that rates zoos? Just curious after my recent trip to the San Diego Zoo, which I found disappointing. I thought it was supposed to be one of the premier zoos. I know I am anthropomorphizing, but all the animals seemed sad.

possumlady said...

Hey Cat59

Hmmm, I don't know of any specific group that is a watch dog of the nation's zoos. I do know there are a lot of animal welfare groups that monitor zoos in their locality. I didn't get a chance but maybe looking up the Human Society's website would have some information.

The American Zoological Association does accredit zoos and they have standards that need to be adhered to. But, personally, with the experience the Elephant Sanctuary had with the AZA, I think they are very bureaucratic and political. They certainly did not have the elephants best interest in mind when they threatened to take away the accreditation of the Detroit Zoo if the Detroit Zoo closed their elephant exhibit to send their sick and crippled elephants to the Sanctuary. And, on their website, they likened the Elephant Sanctuary to a ranch?!

I could go on and on about zoos, maybe during dinner in Chicago :-)

possumlady said...

Sorry meant Humane Society, NOT Human Society!

Anonymous said...

Eee! eee! eee!! Belated Science Chimp attack!

brace yourself...

that's a Eurasian Eagle-owl, not a great-horned. I trust the center knows what it has. Quite a shock to see it!

Thanks for the kind words, Christine, but I didn't have a single baby to raise this past summer--traveling too much. I didn't miss it, either--all the little heartbreaks that you mention.

Love your blog.

Science Chimp, signin' off