animal rescue

Giant in the Pantanal

Giant in the Pantanal

We are so excited to meet our first animal here in the Pantanal. Many of you are probably familiar with this mammal. They have long noses that are good at sniffing out ants! Are you ready to learn more about the giant anteater?

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Giant Anteater Fun Facts: 

  • Anteaters have no teeth!
  • Their tongues are about 2 feet long! They can flick those tongues into anthills and termite mounds at the rate of 160 times per mintue!
  • They use those tongues to eat 35,000 ants and termites each day! Anyone wonder if they tickle?
  • They use their long claws to dig into an anthill. They have to must eat quickly- as the ants do start biting.
  • Giant anteaters can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh up to 90 lbs.
  • These crazy looking critters have poor eyesight! They find those ants by smell!
  • You might think they can’t fend off predators, but those 4 inch ant digging claws have a second adaptation- swiping away predators like jaguars.

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We are big giant anteater fans! They little ones right around on their mom’s backs. It is so cute! Do you know some of the anteaters relatives?

Categories: adventure, animal rescue, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | 2 Comments

Blue Spines

Blue Spines

After encountering a prairie dog town yesterday, we met a little reptile who calls these parts home! It’s always good to see so many species and this unusual looking lizard definitely caught our eye.

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Blue Spiny Lizard Fun Facts: 

  • These lizards can grow up to 14 inches long.
  • They have spiny scales,
  • Males are more blue-green in color. Both males and females have a black ring around on their neck.
  • These relatives of the iguana spend much of their day under rocks and crevices to avoid the hottest part of the day.
  • Blue spiny lizards are carnivores. They eat insects.
  • They are listsed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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These interesting lizards are so neat looking with bumpy scales. We think they are quiet handsome.

Categories: adventure, animal rescue, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SUPER HORSE TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE!

SUPER HORSE TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE INTERVIEW REBECCA HARVEY!

 super horse to rescue

Super Horse took a month off and now he’s back meeting a wildlife loving lady! We met Rebecca on Twitter and learned that she not only is a student, but a wildlife rescuer and rehabilitator. Come learn more about this great lady and her work!

Snow Leopard cub!

Snow Leopard cub!

 

Us:  Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a bit about yourself? (Where are you from? What do you do? Do you have any pets?)

Rebecca: I am a Zoology student, wildlife rescuer, zookeeper. I am based in Hermosa Beach, California; a tiny beach town part of South Bay Los Angeles. Currently we have three pets. A large cat, a large snake (Colombian red-tail boa), and my husband has a clownfish & hermit crabs in a small saltwater tank.

 

Aaaw- what a beauty! The snake and Rebecca :)!

Aaaw- what a beauty! The snake and Rebecca :)!

Us:  Wow! You have a pet snake that is cool! We’re pretty sure Moe cat wouldn’t let us have one at headquarters- spoil sport!

How did you get started in wildlife rescue?

Rebecca: I grew up in the Oregon mountains where things were always getting hit by log trucks. I became accustomed to rescuing orphan raccoons, opossums, and an occasional rabbit or bird, even one bat. As a child it was a learn as you go experience. I caught snakes, lizards & salamanders for fun.

As an adult I received training from local California wildlife rescue facilities until I eventually started doing it on my own.

 rebecca6

Us:  Neat! We love that you started helping animals at a young age!

When did you discover your love for animals?

Rebecca: I have always loved and helped animals, both wild & domestic but it wasn’t until Steve Irwin’s death that I decided to make a career of it.

 

“At the age of 32 my first career (SAG AFTRA Actress) was winding down and I was stuck sitting on the couch watching TV and dreading my upcoming knee surgery. All the shows I used to imagine myself on were boring and I became hooked on Animal Planet, especially The Crocodile Hunter, Croc Files, and Crocodile Hunter Diaries. I had grown up in Oregon too, and could identify with Terri’s love of wildlife. I too, have raised orphan raccoons, opossums, and an occasional rabbit  or bird. Now after years of following what I had thought was my passion I had lost my drive. (I need to point out that I have an amazing husband who encourages me to do anything I want to try.) I saw an episode where Steve had knee surgery on camera and it made me feel braver about my own upcoming surgery. At this point, this was still all just entertaining for me. I knew Steve had recently died and thought it was very sad but it didn’t have a huge effect on me until the day before my surgery.
I was watching “Ellen” when Terri came on with Bindi for G’day USA to fulfill Steve’s previous commitment. As I sat there mesmerized my personal epiphany happened. I could help! I loved animals. Terri was right, we all had to carry on Steve’s work. I would start volunteering; go back to school, save the world! Then I got up to go to the bathroom and realized I still couldn’t walk. Oops. I could still do one thing, without telling anybody, I registered for a zoology class at the local community college. I had never been a good student so I thought I’ll just try one class, if it works out then I’ll tell people. It took me two days to tell my husband I’d just changed career paths and was going back to school. He replied as always “Go for it babe!” So three days after knee surgery, I was off to college crutches and all. I watched every episode I could get my hands on that Steve and Terri did, I read their book, and studied hard. I was inspired to do for others not only for myself and it felt great. Once my knee healed I started volunteering every place I could.
I have been lucky enough to work as an animal keeper at several great places in Los Angeles County, CA with a huge variety of animals; everything from snakes to snow leopards. I was able to learn firsthand from a visiting keeper from Taronga Zoo, Australia, about Australian captive wildlife. I have worked with great apes, mountain lions, and birds of prey. While reptiles and big cats are still my favorites, working with such a variety has taught me the value of every species.” ~Remember Wildlife Website Rebecca page


Jack the Sparrow- a rescue!

Jack the Sparrow- a rescue!

Rebecca teaching!

Rebecca teaching!

Us:  Whew! You have done so many great things already!

Tell us about your favorite rescue/rehab.

Rebecca: Little and Lucky: A call woke me from my nap. It was my good friend Margo. The mail lady had been frightened by a baby opossum. Margo thought it looked too small could I please come and look. I have a soft spot for opossums and ran down to look. The poor little baby only had half his fur and was just starting to get some teeth. He should still be with his mom. We brought him up to my place and handpicked every flea off of him. A quick run to the pet store to get a bottle and we were ready to take care of him. “He sure is lucky that we found him” Margo said. Yes he is Lucky, and the name stuck; so commenced the bottle feeding every two hours. I made him a pouch he could crawl in an out of just like on mom. I was in love. Feeding every two hours I was tired when there was a knock on my door the next morning. I opened it to see our apartment’s handyman, an avid animal lover, “found another one under the trash” and he hands me this tiny opossum. He was cold, almost bald, no teeth, and barely moved. He was so little. I got him cleaned up and fed and he joined Lucky in the pouch. I had a vet tech friend of mine come look at him. It doesn’t look good she said he won’t last long. I wasn’t going to give up. As long as they weren’t suffering I would try. For over a month I fed and played with them. The great thing about opossums is that you can humanize them and still release them back into the wild because they forget they know people once they are free. Little was much slower growing then Lucky. When it came time to release them, Lucky left without a second glance back, and Little climbed back into his bed. Ok I though he isn’t quite ready yet. A week later we tried again. Margo and I said our goodbyes and I placed him near a bush outside. He walked a few inches and sank down shaking. “I know it’s probably just me”, I told Margo “but I can’t do it he doesn’t look right”. Margo agreed. When I got home from class the next day she said “I finally found a vet that will look at him, my treat”. It amazed us how many vets considered them rats not worthy of care. Opossums are specialized marsupials and the only ones we have in North America. We found an amazing vet. We took my poor Little to the vet and it turned out he had a malformed spine. Instead of growing bigger his spine was zigzagging in his little body. This was slowly cutting off his nerves and making his front legs eventually paralyzed. The vet assured me he was not in any pain, said he was healthy weight, and that although he was not releasable, he could live a happy life in captivity. Lucky had very specific white markings on his ears and we would see him from time to time wandering outside, bigger each time, and looking good. Little stayed with me, well loved. He lasted a year, not to bad for a disabled opossum. I cried and cried. He had been a wildlife ambassador for my classes and my beloved companion.
I miss him.

Opossums usually live about two years in the wild and up to three years in captivity. They are not legal pets and require wildlife permits. Although many people don’t like them they play an important part in our environment. If you see a baby opossum don’t assume it needs help. A little opossum between half a pound and a pound is capable of being on its own. All they need is fur and teeth. If they are smaller but look healthy, no worries, mom is usually not far behind.

 

Little and Lucky!

Little and Lucky!

Getting something to eat!

Getting something to eat!

Us:  Oh goodness, that is a great story! It is making me tear up! Thank goodness Little and Lucky found you!

What advice would you give someone who wanted to volunteer or get into wildlife rehab and rescue?

Rebecca:  First, know it is ok to have a favorite animal. While all species are important, you can do more good for one you are passionate about. Volunteering is a hard but very rewarding thing to do. Most wildlife facilities, and many shelters rely solely on volunteers to keep them running. Keep in mind to work with wild/exotic animals you must be 18 or over and some places have experience requirements. If you’re not quite that adventurous or just too young, there are still a lot of things you can do (fund-raising, beach clean-up, office work, etc.). Don’t be afraid of hard work or getting dirty, keep an open mind, and ask questions. Find a rescue/rehab place near you and ask if you can come see them. While there ask a lot of questions.

Examples:

What are the requirements to volunteer?

What are the duties of a volunteer?

Do you ever turn down animals & why?

 

Check out several facilities near you to decide what you are best suited for. Volunteering for a place whose moral practices don’t agree with yours will not help you learn. Mutual respect is needed. Realize that all the “perks” of animal care (snuggles, pictures, hands on love), come after hours of cleaning, dirt, poop, food prep, and all the non-cute things. Be willing to commit to a year at one place before moving on to a new one. Never be afraid to ask questions of anyone. Always put the animals’ needs first.

 

Most small rescues ask for a small fee to attend an orientation. This fee goes to animal care and shows them you are serious about committing. Anything $50 or under is considered reasonable. If a place asks for a lot of expensive gear and “training fees”, walk away.

For volunteering with hands-on animal work you need the following:

Good Health

Good Attitude

Good Boots

I admire & thank everyone who gives there time to save others. Good Luck To All!

 

Us:  That is great advice!

Do you have a website? Are you on social media?

Rebecca:  My Website is www.rememberwildlife.org 

It has lots of stories, pictures, and information on the many pages.  

Us:  Great! Everyone needs to go check it out! 

Who is your wildlife hero?

Rebecca:  Terri Irwin is my wildlife hero. She started with one sad malnourished cougar and is now owner of the great Australia Zoo. She stays strong through even the worst moments in life. She believes every animal deserves a chance and works tirelessly to save habitats. My dream job is to work for her.

Steve Irwin was my inspiration, but it is Terri Irwin who is my hero. If I can do 1/4 of what she has I will feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.

If you haven’t yet read it, go get MY STEVE by Terri Irwin, you will be inspired too.

 

Thank you so much again for sitting down with us! You are a true wildlife hero and inspiration!

Categories: adventure, animal rescue, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, mammals, nature, science, Uncategorized, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

HUG YOUR CAT DAY!

HUG YOUR CAT DAY!

Today is hug your cat day! We live with a cat named Moe and he is rather large and squishy! Occasionally he tries to eat us, but we’ve made peace and now we’re pals!

moe relaxing

He loves a good nap in the sun!

We also thought Hug Your Cat Day would be a good day to give a virtual hug to all the big cats out there! World wide wild cat populations are dwindling! There are several organizations that are working hard to protect these majestic creatures in the wild and protect them from becoming pets or living in captive situations that are unhealthy!

First Up:

PANTHERA! This amazing group works tirelessly to protect habitat for big cats all around the world and to help to stop poaching and the wild animal black market! We’ve actually been to a lecture given by their president and he was great! Be sure to check out their website and learn more about this great group!

Next Up:

BIG CAT RESCUE! Big Cat Rescue Rescue in Florida is a sanctuary that takes in big cats of all sizes. They work with animals who have often suffered abuse and neglect and give them an amazing place to live out their lives. We love sharing headquarters with Moe, but he is a domestic cat that we found at the local Humane Society. He makes a great companion. Large wild cats on the other hand never make good pets. They are large predators with big teeth and claws and belong in the wild or in accredited zoos. Check out Big Cat Rescue’s website. They have beautiful pictures and fun videos!

Now, we’re going to end Hug Your Cat Day with some great photos of big cats who deserve our love and respect!

cheetah   clouded leopard

panther

liontiger

leopard

Moe is given a high paws to all the cats out there!

Moe is given a high paws to all the cats out there!

Categories: adventure, animal rescue, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, mammals, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

SUPER HORSE TO THE RESCUE- SOUTH FLORIDA WILDLIFE CENTER

SUPER HORSE TO THE RESCUE-

SOUTH FLORIDA WILDLIFE CENTER

super horse to rescue

We found South Florida Wildlife Center on Facebook and saw what wonderful work they are doing in their area. Dr Renata Schneider, their director of Rehabilitation was kind enough to take some time and tell us about herself and the center! Come read Super Horse’s interview with this Wildlife Hero!

Dr Schneider

Dr Schneider

Super Horse: Tell us about your center.
Dr. Schneider: The South Florida Wildlife center is a 501C3 organization (not for profit.)  We have over 60 staff members and over 600 volunteers.  We are located in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  While we are in Broward County, we serve the South Florida Tri-County area (Palm Beach, Broward and Dade). South Florida Wildlife Center is an affiliate of the Humane Society of The United States.   We rescue, rehabilitate and release thousands of native animals yearly.

Feeding a Quaker Parrot

Feeding a Quaker Parrot

Super Horse: Wow that is a big area to serve! That must keep you very busy! Tell us about you and your job at the center. What is your favorite part of your job?
Dr. Schneider:
 My name is Renata Schneider.  I am a Veterinarian and my position at the South Florida Wildlife Center is Director of Rehabilitation.  In my position I spend 2-3 days a week in the clinic examining incoming patients, making treatment plans, performing surgeries and rechecking existing patients.  The other 2-3 days a week are spent evaluating animals that are no longer on medication and have moved to an outdoor habitat.  I check on their progress, make medical decisions regarding the care, and work to improve the rehabilitation process to ensure a successful release.  This includes working on habitat designs, enrichment and improvements.
My favorite part of the job is when an animal that I treated is released; all of our hard work has paid off!  However, I do love the daily hustle and bustle and the variety of animals that we see and the resources that we have access to in order to practice good medicine and excellent rehabilitation techniques.

Pelican with ingested hook.

Pelican with ingested hook.

Super Horse: Your job sounds so amazing! How did you get into wildlife rehabilitation?
Dr. Schneider: When I was 17 years old I started volunteering at a “Le Nichoir”, a song bird rehabilitation center in Quebec, my home province.  I assisted in the hand rearing of orphan birds for a summer.  I had always loved animals, but did not ever think of becoming a veterinarian.  When I learned that veterinarians could work with wildlife I changed career paths.  I literally refused an offer to Law School and started over with my college classes to get the pre-requisites for veterinary school.  My new goal was to become a wildlife Veterinarian; I graduated with the doctorate of veterinary medicine in 2002.  It was many years later that I finally applied for my rehabilitation license!

Raccoon gets a bath!

Raccoon gets a bath!

Super Horse: We bet the animals are glad you skipped law school.  What does a typical day look like at the center?

Dr. Schneider: The South Florida Wildlife Center is a very busy place.  We admit up to 100 new patients daily.  Each staff member is always very busy, but I will describe a typical day for me.
I arrive at or before 8am.  First thing, I check on patients in the Intensive Care Unit, they are usually the most critical.  Then I check on any animals that came in late the night before in case they did not get seen by a doctor.  Finally I make sure that the nursery knows that there are orphan birds, squirrels, opossums or raccoons that are ready to be admitted into the nursery and get their breakfast.
Throughout the day I use my “doctor check list” to know which existing patients need a recheck.  While a technician gets one of these patients, a hit by car Virginia Opossum ends up on the triage table.  I will sedate the opossum and then recheck my patient while he is getting relaxed.  Patient recheck done, examine the opossum.  I can feel a fracture in the jaw.  One veterinary technician will get radiographs for me, while another technician gets the Pelican that needs a bandage change for an open wound.
By 10am we have looked at over 10 animals.  There are probably three more sets of radiographs that need to be done, a dove waiting for a laceration repair, and blood work that needs to be analyzed.
Throughout the day this pattern continues of triaging incoming patients, filling out all of the important paperwork associated with each case, and rechecking existing patients.
At 1pm I am told that one of our hawks is bleeding in its outdoor enclosure.  The animal care staff member tending to this patient brings him inside.  This red-tailed hawk has a broken a new feather, that still has blood in its shaft.  We control the bleeding and send him back outside.  He won’t need to stay inside on medications.
At 2pm I am told that there are no indoor cages left for pelicans.  It is a full house!  It is time to do rounds in the hospital to see if any patients are strong enough for an outdoor enclosure.  We manage to move out 2 pelicans, now we have 2 hospital cages available for new patients.
At 3pm the ambulance comes back with its second load of the day.  It is time to triage 20 new patients.  We start with the most critical and the youngest.  Luckily we made some more room in the hospital.
By 4pm, we have gone through them all.  I have just enough time to write up my medical notes before I have to pick up my kids at day care.  Luckily on this day we have two vets scheduled and there will be a doctor on duty to care for the animals until 8pm!

Helping a corn snake who is tangled in netting trash.

Helping a corn snake who is tangled in netting trash.

Super Horse: Whew! That makes me tired just reading about your day! You work so very hard! I hope you eat your veggies :)! How many animals do you treat a day?
Dr. Schneider:  Each of the veterinarians will examine or recheck anywhere from 20 to 100 animals daily.

Feeding a bat!

Feeding a bat!

Super Horse: That is a lot of animals! What type of animals do you see most (birds, mammals or reptiles)?
Dr. Schneider:
Approximately 60%-70% of the animals admitted are birds, 30%-40% are mammals and the rest are reptiles.

Great Heron with fish hook in skin.

Great Heron with fish hook in skin.

Super Horse: South Florida does have tons of birds! Spring is on its way and that means it is baby season. What advice do you have for people if they see a baby they think may be in need of help?
Dr. Schneider:
Many of the orphans that are brought to us are not truly orphans because the parents are still close by.  Make sure that you check carefully for a nest or parents before removing a baby animal.  It is a myth that by touching a baby the mother will reject it afterwards.  If it is truly sick or injured, or if you are really not sure, then it should be contained and brought to a wildlife rehabilitator.

Feeding a baby squirrel

Feeding a baby squirrel

Super Horse: That is great advice! Tell us about your favorite success story.
Dr. Schneider:
There is not one single story that can express the joy of what we do.  Last week we released 13 pelicans, 2 groups of hand-reared raccoons, 2 grey squirrels that were severely injured on arrival, a vulture that had surgery for a broken wing, amongst many others.  We also re-united 2 baby screech owls with their mom in the existing nest in the tree after a tree-trimmer had frightened them into jumping out of the hole that they call home.
The sum of these releases week after week is the success story that keeps me here.

Bird release

Bird release

Super Horse: Wow! You help so many animals in just one week! That makes you a super hero! How can people help their local wildlife this time of year?
Dr. Schneider: Most of the babies that are admitted are caught by a dog or a cat.  Keeping pets away from wildlife is a good start.  Keeping the yard free of trash and using bins that close tightly helps too.  Never feed wildlife.  We also have groups of baby raccoons that come in because the mother was relocated by a trapper.  It is important to use humane trappers that keep families together.  People should block holes in the roof and attic so that raccoons do not nest there.  Finally, although it seems that spring is a good time to do tree trimming and yard work, many nests are disrupted by this activity and if you can wait or be cautious when tree trimming, it could save wildlife.

Looking at a soft shell turtle's mouth

Looking at a soft shell turtle’s mouth

Super Horse: Great tips! We’ve never thought about tree trimming disturbing nests before. If someone wanted to become of wildlife rehabilator or volunteer, how would they start that process?
Dr. Schneider: 
In order to volunteer at the SFWC there is an application process and an orientation.  If not here, find a local wildlife hospital or rehabilitator and volunteer with them.  Do whatever is needed, even if it is washing dishes or doing laundry.  Pay attention, read about the species that are seen there, learn how to handle the animals safely, attend any classes offered.  The more time that you spend and the more dedicated you are; the more that you will be asked to do.  Getting hands on experience with the animals comes after your trust has been earned.  It takes a lot of time and patience to train volunteers to do the “fun” stuff.  If you show that it is worth investing in you, you will be offered excellent experience.  Each state is different, but in Florida after logging a certain number of hours doing wildlife rehabilitation, and passing a test, one can become a licensed rehabilitator.

Super Horse: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! You can find out more information about South Florida Wildlife Center on their website and on Facebook. Check out this amazing organization and Dr. Schneider! They are true Wildlife Heroes!  

Categories: adventure, animal rescue, Animals, birds, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, science, squirrels, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SUPER HORSE TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE- HAWK TALK!

 SUPER HORSE TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE!

super horse to rescue

Super Horse to the Wildlife Rescue interviewed Raptor Rehabilitator & Educator, Monteen McCord from Hawk Talk! Come learn about the great work she is doing to educate people about these special birds!

Edmond: How long have you been rehabilitating birds?

Ms. McCord: I met my first owl in 1983 at a vet clinic where I was employed.

Edmond: Neat! How did you get started rehabilitating birds?

Ms. McCord: My background is in surgical nursing, but got out of the human medical field and started working for a veterinarian.

Edmond: Animals do make more interesting patients. What does it take to become a wildlife rehabilitator?

Ms. McCord: The exams are very difficult to pass. It takes up a lot of time and even more resources and if you don’t have the full support and backing of your spouse/family members, you will have trouble.

We just loved this owl!

We just loved this owl!

Edmond: Wow! It sounds like it takes a ton of hard work and passion! Do you rehab birds of all kinds or just raptors?

Ms. McCord: Yes, only raptors. I decided to target one group and get good at it. It’s been my experience that if you try to rehab everything, you’re not very good at any of it.

great horned owl chick

Great Horned Owl chick

 Edmond: Makes sense! What kind of birds do you have right now?

Ms. McCord: I have 4 rehab birds in hospital right now…all vehicle strikes – Great horned owl, barred owl, Screech owl and a Red-shouldered hawk. I have 6 that live with me full time.

Barred owl chick

Barred owl chick

Edmond: All of those birds must keep you busy. Do you release most of your birds back in the wild?

Ms. McCord: The release rate is about 50%. They have to be in tip-top shape to survive at the top of the food chain.

Edmond: Do you take your birds out for education programs?  If yes, how can a person/organization contact you to book a program?

Ms. McCord: HawkTalk generates funding for the charity in two ways; charitable contributions (we are a 501c3 not for profit organization) and program fees for educational programs for schools, civic organizations, scouts, nature centers, etc. You can call us at 770-720-1847. Email us  Monteen@hawktalk.org through the web site www.hawktalk.org. You can also ‘like’ us and contact us via FaceBook www.facebook.com/hawktalk.org  AND if that isn’t enough, you can also contact us via our YouTube channel  www.youtube.com/monteenmccord  Whew!  🙂

Educating students about owls!

Educating students about owls!

 Edmond: Excellent! What message would you give people about keeping our wildlife safe?

Ms. McCord: Wildlife will continue to survive among us, regardless of where you live. I have songbird feeders and water sources, along with brush piles, so the little critters can have a safe place to hide and reproduce. I even offer my leftovers on the deck for the possums and raccoons overnight because it isn’t their fault that they have to eek out a living among us pesky humans…  🙂

Hawk getting help!

Hawk getting help!

Edmond: Wow, the wildlife near you sure are lucky! What should a person do if they find an injured bird?

Ms. McCord: The bird might not be injured; it may just be young. Spring is when the majority of the baby songbirds and raptors (and small mammals) get accidentally orphaned by well-meaning people who don’t understand that young birds leave the nest before they can fly. Their parents are nearby to hear their food calls and will bring them food, provide a modicum of security and do the necessary coaching. When I acquired cats, I removed my bluebird house for that very reason…I know that the cats would just wait at the base of the feeder for dinner to jump out. The young are very vulnerable when they first leave the nest, but the universe made it that way to improve the gene pool and young birds of prey exemplify the phrase, ‘survival of the fittest’! You can put some gloves on and put the baby songbird up under a bush, but chances are, they won’t stay very long. Gloves are needed not because the mother bird will smell you and abandon the babe, for they don’t have a sense of smell, but you do leave your scent behind for other predators.

We have had great success in re-nesting young owls and hawks if we know where the nest is. Installing artificial baskets on or near the nest tree works just great as long as the parents can hear the food call, they will locate the babe’s new digs and rear them from there.

Hanging the wicker basket filled with leaves and twigs, making sure there are no ants. The nest tree is nearby.

Owl in a basket

Owl in a basket.

Hanging the basket in the tree.

Hanging the basket in the tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human intervention is needed if you see a bird that is obviously drooping one wing or is non-weight bearing. Keep in mind that birds rest on one foot, so it will take some observation on your part to determine if the bird is indeed injured, or merely resting. If you need to pick up an injured, you can poke some holes in a cardboard box and upend it over the bird. Slide something flat under it and gently turn the box right sight up. Tape the lid down rather than the figure 8 because you don’t want to put your hands down in a box with an injured raptor, especially, if it’s lying on his back. The toes are strong enough to bury the talons up to the hilt on whatever flesh they come in contact with, so you need to take the utmost care in capturing them. I prefer the box method because you will avoid physical contact with the bird, which makes it safer for all concerned. You can also throw a jacket or blanket over them, but you won’t know where their feet are and the feet and the business end and if the bird binds to you, you will probably end up killing the bird to get the talons out of you. Not fun…has only happened to me twice since ’83. All it takes is to be a half second faster than they are and you’re good to go.  J People in Georgia can go over to www.georgiawildlife.org and click on ‘how to find a wildlife rehabilitator’. Click down to whatever category critter you have and start with your county and radiate out from there. Other residents contact your local Department of Natural Resources or Game and Fish Commission in assistance in finding a licensed person to help.

Owl chicks Monteen worked to reintroduce into the wild!

Owl chicks Monteen worked to reintroduce into the wild!

 

Owl chicks in the trees- learning to be owls!

Owl chicks in the trees- learning to be owls!

 

 

 

 

Edmond: Whew that is some great information! We know people always ask as spring arrives what to do with baby birds! Thanks so much for taking the time to inform us! And THANK YOU for being a Wildlife Super Hero! Your hard work and dedication to animals are a real inspiration!

Categories: adventure, animal rescue, Animals, birds, Children, education, Environment, owls, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

SUPER HORSE TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE- NOAH’S ARK!!

SUPER HORSE TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE!

super horse to rescue

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary!

We went to a very special animal sanctuary for the first Super Horse to the Wildlife Rescue spotlight! We took a short road trip just south of Atlanta, Georgia to find a 250 acre heaven for wildlife that has not always had it easy!

IMG_0074   IMG_0075

 

 

 

 

 

We met Allison, the Animal Husbandry Manager, who was so very kind to take us around the property! Allison works tirelessly seven days a week at Noah’s Ark to make sure that the animals have great habitats, proper diets and a comfortable life. Whew, that is a lot of work! Luckily Allison has co-workers to help. There are five people who also work in the husbandry department and seven people who work in the office. The sanctuary has around 250 volunteers who help too! It takes loads of dedicate people to make sure these animals are happy!

When we first arrived at Noah’s Ark we saw a woman drop off a rooster who had been injured. We were so happy to see this nice lady help him and bring him to a place that can help!

We met some of the residents of Noah’s Ark on our tour with Allison! First up were the emus!

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There are over 80 of them! Apparently during the 90s people kept emus for eggs and oil and when they decided the birds weren’t so profitable, they released them into the neighborhoods around Atlanta. Noah’s Ark now houses these big flightless birds!

 

 

 

As we rode on we came upon big cats and bears! Each animal has its own story of abuse and neglect. Noah’s Ark gets the animals from sieges and rescues from the Department of Natural Resources, The US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Interior and the US Fish and Wildlife. Some of these animals have been kept as pets, some were kept in circuses and some are rescues from the wild.

We met all kinds of tigers and bears and wolves.

These ladies came from a circus, where they lived in a tiny enclosure! They have a HUGE enclosure now!

These ladies came from a circus, where they lived in a tiny enclosure! They have a HUGE enclosure now!

 

Bear!

Bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Doc!

Meet Doc!

Doc the tiger came to Noah's Ark as a cub at the same time Ann the bear did. They were raised together for company and now are best friends!

Doc the tiger came to Noah’s Ark as a cub at the same time Ann the bear did. They were raised together for company and now are best friends!

Doc and Ann having fun!

Doc and Ann having fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thunder- one of a pair of wolves confiscated at the airport.

Thunder- one of a pair of wolves confiscated at the airport.

We then met a herd of Llamas! Llamas are funny with their big ears!

Llamas!

Llamas!

 

Matriarch of the Llama heard. They get to free range around the property too.

Matriarch of the Llama heard. They get to free range around the property too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We love Llamas!

We love Llamas!

Noah’s Ark also has monkeys, 20 of them, of several different species. Often monkeys are kept as pets and then people realize that is a bad idea. Monkeys definitely belong in the wild and do not make good pets. They are messy, aggressive and destructive.

We met a coati! These South American relative of the raccoon are also kept as pets and man are they cute, but they do not belong at your house. If you think your cat is bad to your couch imagine  what a wild animal can do! No thank you!

Coati!

Coati!

Noah’s Ark’s most famous residents are a trio of friends! It’s Leo the Lion, Shere Khan the Tiger and Baloo the Bear.

The trio's story!

The trio’s story!

These three were found in a basement together and our now inseparable.  They are quiet the trio.

Shere Khan and Leo!

Shere Khan and Leo!

Unfortunately when we were there we only met Leo and Shere Khan because Baloo was napping in their house.

Noah’s Ark also houses 350 parrots! That’s right folks, 350! Parrots and birds are a popular pet, but often people do not do their homework when getting a bird. These feathery friends are very high maintenance and require special food, housing and tons of attention. It is so important that people read, learn and educate themselves before getting a bird. The parrots at Noah’s Ark are super lucky birds because they have great aviaries to live in and many friends. It is not easy integrating a new bird in with the flock. Caregivers at the sanctuary work hard to get a new bird introduced.

What a cutie!

What a cutie!

 

What a pair!

What a pair!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noah’s Ark does not just take care of exotic animals, they are home to 100 peacocks , 100 sheep and goats and 100 horses . They also do rehabilitation and release of local wildlife like birds and deer. Wow, these guys must be busy, busy!

We found one of the peacocks!

We found one of the peacocks!

Edmond said this is one great places for horses!

Edmond said this is one great places for horses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out some of the horses & ponies!

Check out some of the horses & ponies!

After our tour with Allison, we sat down with her to ask her a few more questions.

Us: How many animals do you have and how many different species?

Allison: We have over 1,000 animals and 100-150 different species.

Us: Who requires the most care?

Allison: The parrots and the monkeys.

Us: What animal has been here the longest?

Allison: Suzie Q the Himalayan Black Bear has been here since 1989.

Us: Can people sponsor an animal?

Allison: We have a sponsor program starting.

Us: Which animal has been your toughest case?

Allison: We have a blue and gold macaw that was afraid of everything. It took us a year to get him acclimated.

Us: What message would you like to send about wild animals?

Allison: Keep the wild in your heart and not in your home! Wild animals are never good pets.

Us: What can we do to protect and prevent the exotic animal trade?

Allison: You can educate yourself and others about these animals. Learn about them and their plights in the wild and share your passion and knowledge!

Us: Tell us about a typical day here. What is your favorite thing about working here?

Allison: I arrive at 8am and check on the animals, prep the food, feed the animals and then clean. After all that we work on enrichment for the animals. Being with the animals is my favorite part of the job. I really enjoy being with them and giving them the best life they can have.

Us: Excellent! Thank you so much for taking time to show us this special place! And Thank You for working so hard to take care of these special animals! You and the staff are doing amazing work here!

 

To learn more about Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary check out their website! They are also on Facebook! Noah’s Ark doesn’t charge any admission, but they do take donations! Take a road trip to visit this special place just outside of Atlanta!

 

 

Categories: adventure, animal rescue, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

MEET SUPER HORSE TO THE RESCUE!!

SUPER HORSE TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE!*

*This is a re-post from earlier in the year! Super Horse will be a monthly feature starting in 2013!

Edmond was inspired by his Super Horse super hero costume that he wore this Halloween! He wanted to showcase the super heroes that help out wild animals all around the world! He’ll be flying high and low to find those people who rehabilitate, rehab and rescue wildlife! His first stop will be at a local wildlife rescue, but we want our readers and fans input! If you know a wildlife rehabilitator or a wildlife center; we want their names and contact info! Super Horse’s Wildlife Heroes will be a monthly interview to start with, but we may do more if we meet loads of excellent heroes!

So we need your help! Tell us who you know and how we can contact them! Send Super Horse to your local wildlife rescue! We look forward to this exciting new addition to The Adventures of Ellie and Edmond!

 

 

Categories: adventure, animal rescue, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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