Animal Rescue, Part IIby Lee McKenzie
Last month on the Harlequin American Romance Authors’ blog, I blogged about animal rescue. Since then, as things often go, animal rescue has become a recurring theme in my life.
A week ago I was out with a friend for an early morning walk around a local golf course, and we spotted a baby crow on the ground under a tree, huddled next to its dead and very badly mangled sibling. There was an empty nest way up at the top of the tree, and two very concerned parents squawking at their baby, and at us.
A dear elderly lady in the yard of a nearby house let me use her phone to call Wild ARC—an animal rescue center operated by the SPCA. Since one baby was dead, the wildlife rehabilitator said this one should be checked out. So the woman who let me use her phone also let us borrow a small dog crate and a blanket to cover it up. I scooped baby crow into the crate while my friend covered my back—by that time Mom and Dad were hopping mad—and we took it to a local vet hospital, who in turn delivered him to Wild ARC.
I called the next day to check on him and found out that he had been badly bruised, although thankfully he had no fractures. So whatever had torn up his sibling had also had a go at him. He'll be at Wild ARC for a while, and they said it's good we took him in because he never would have made it on his own. Today, a week after being rescued, he is still recuperating and is in a cage with another crow. They’re hanging out and doing crow stuff together, and here’s hoping they can be released together, too.
The day after rescuing the baby crow, my daughter told me about seven ducklings that had been rescued by her friends, Barbara and Brad. The mother duck had been taking her ten ducklings across a busy street during rush hour. She and three babies were run over and killed, and the remaining seven left to dodge traffic on their own. Motorists were actually driving around the poor things, but Brad pulled over and loaded the babies—still at the teeny little puffball stage—into a box he had in the back seat. This young man is definitely hero material, don’t you think?
Brad and Barbara kept the babies overnight. The babies were given chopped tomatoes and carrots for dinner, which they gobbled up with gusto, and then their stand-in parents put a little water in the bathtub for them to paddle in. After Barbara took them out of the tub, she noticed the babies weren’t drying off. Some Internet research revealed that wet ducklings can easily get hypothermia, so she set her hair dryer on low and waved it around the box from a distance till the babies were dried off. Apparently they loved it, and they were all ultra poofy by the time they were dry!
The babies finally settled in for the night in their makeshift but cozy little home, complete with a water bottle filled with nice warm water.
The next morning, the babies went to Wild ARC, where they received the care they needed until they could be released. Kudos to surrogate parents Barbara and Brad for taking such great care of the little darlings, and special thanks for sharing their story and their wonderful photos!