In spite of the world in turmoil, spring has still arrived and there's been
no shortage of entertainment here at the shelter. Personally, I am glad for the opportunity to come to work and have the distraction of whatever animals happen to come through our doors. In the past week alone, along with the usual cast characters that end up in our care, we've had some very interesting arrivals.
The first creature that brightened our doorstep was a Great Horned Owl that I happened upon on my way in to work. This gorgeous creature was sitting quite still in the middle of an intersection in broad daylight. I knew immediately that something was amiss and pulled over to check him out.
Surprisingly, although very wary of me, he didn't attempt to fly off right away. After securing a thick blanket to capture him in and a box to place him in, I approached him a little closer. At that point he attempted escape, but lucky for me, he wasn't quite up to the challenge and I was able to capture him. His wings looked unharmed, however, there was a small amount of blood around his beak, possibly caused by contact with a moving vehicle. Our wildlife rehabilitator was able to get him to the avian rehab center, where, hopefully, he will make a full recovery and be able to be released back where I found him.
A couple of days later, another fantastic raptor was brought in by the Bridgeton Animal Control officer; this time an Osprey. This poor bird was found in the road with a large fish lying next to him. Apparently the weight of his catch impeded on his ability to take flight and he was clipped by a car on the way up, fracturing his leg. Once again, our wildlife rehabilitator was called upon to get him to the avian rehab center.
Next, and on a much smaller scale, we got in a beautifully engineered and constructed bird's nest with five tiny baby babies in it. In spite of the nest having been blown out of the tree during the tremendous winds we had last week, it was in perfect condition. Ironically, along with the moss, leaves and twigs it was constructed with, it was lined with a soft, fuzzy layer of cat fur! The homeowner followed the recommended guidelines for finding baby birds by allowing the nest to stay where it was for a little more than a day, but unfortunately, no adults came to tend the chicks. Once they got to us, we warmed them up and began feeding them. They will be sent to the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge to be raised until they mature enough to be released.
On the heels of the chicks, came a very different little creature, this time a baby goat; and at least in my opinion, it doesn't get much cuter than that! He is absolutely adorable! He was removed by animal control from a small dog crate found on a porch in the middle of a residential area. This violation of the city code surely saved this little guy from ending up on the dinner table. We'll make sure he goes with someone that will treat him like a pet.
Should you come upon any animal that you feel is in need of help, please call your local animal control officer, the police department, or us here at the shelter. Keep in mind that wildlife, such as the raptors, should never be approached by anyone not trained to handle them as their talons and beaks can be very dangerous. Mammals can also present danger and should not be handled. Infant and young wildlife should be monitored but not moved until it is determined by a licensed rehabilitator that the parent is not returning. Call us at (856) 691-1500 if you need help or information.