Category Archives: Wildlife

Just Another Day

Baby season is in full swing at the rescue and rehab center.  Things are kicking off a bit late this year because of our cold winter and cold spring.  But the cold ain’t gonna stop Mother Nature now, is it!  We currently have abandoned baby squirrels, abandoned baby bunnies, baby opossums who’ve lost their mom, even 2 little owlets being raised by our resident foster owl mama… and I just received my very first fawn call of the season today.  (“There is a fawn sitting in my yard that has been abandoned.” “No, it hasn’t been abandoned.  Please leave it alone.”)

That being said, I also received a call today that sent my blood pressure to stroke level.  If I could’ve gone through the phone to slap some sense into this a-hole, I would have:

HIM:  My dogs were in a fight with a raccoon a couple of days ago and they chased it up a tree. It’s been up there for 2 days and I would like it removed before it dies.

ME:  The raccoon is in the tree because he’s afraid of your dogs.  Where are the dogs now?

HIM:  Barking at the raccoon in the tree.

ME:  Can you place the dogs in their kennel?

HIM:  The kennel is right underneath the tree.  Should I put them in there?

ME:  No.  Can you bring the dogs inside for a few hours?

HIM:  No.  They’re outside dogs.

ME:  Can you put them in the garage to give this raccoon a chance to come down out of the tree?

HIM:  No.  I’m not willing to do that.

I had to put him on hold after that answer.

“No.  I’m not willing to do that.”  

Are you f’n kidding me?!  I was so not prepared for that response.  You can’t lock up your dogs?? To let another living being, one of God’s creatures, who is scared to death, come down out of a tree and have a chance at survival?? Then why the f*** did you call me?!!  Do you really think I’m going to track all the way out to your drug-infested meth-lab ‘home’ and remove a raccoon from a tree when you won’t even put your hell hounds up?? 

I was now done with this phone call.  I had to pass it off to my director as the veins in my head were frantically pulsating.

The director then proceeded to calmly explain the risk of diseases that a dead raccoon would pass onto his beloved outside dogs who were never allowed inside, if he didn’t remove his dogs from the area to let the raccoon down.

Alas… we will never know what happened to this poor raccoon, whether the above idiot decided to put his dogs up for a couple of hours or not.

I guess I’ll chalk it all up to another “day in the life of…”

Baby season is upon us.  Time for me to step up my game and get ahead of all that’s about to come…

 

 

I Died Today

I was found by a kind, sweet woman who does wildlife rescue.

I was so sick, I could barely open my eyes.

She took me inside, cradling me in her arms and made me warm and comfortable.

I opened my eyes and looked at her and thanked her for making my last few minutes as comfortable as possible.

But I was too sick to keep fighting.

I had eaten a mouse that was poisoned, and it made me very sick.

I closed my yellow eyes for the last time and went somewhere else.

Please, all I ask is never to use poison to kill the mice.

Poison kills owls, like me.

All I wanted was a mouse for dinner.

I died today…

Poison is a very real problem for our wildlife.  Last year, our center received an owl just like the one above who had eaten a poisoned mouse.  It was nursed for months.  It couldn’t be saved.  It eventually died too.

This past week, we received a raccoon who also was the victim of poison.

If your beloved dog or cat caught a poisoned mouse, vole, or mole, it would die as well.

Please don’t use poison to kill mice and rats.  The fallout is tragic.

(Note:  I read the story above for the first time in a newsletter from another wildlife rehab center in the Sequim area.  I do not know who wrote it or where it originated.  Image is from nwraptorcenter.com)

 

And The Winner Is…

Thank you so much to everyone for reading and commenting on my post about beavers and entering my little giveaway!  I received such a great response!  My hope is one day we can all understand how important beavers are to our ecosystem (not to mention they’re cute as all get out)!

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So on to the important stuff… the winner!  I truly wish I could send everyone a beaver ornament, but unfortunately, there can be only one (I’ll send a wildlife calendar to the first one who can tell me what movie that line is from… no googling)!  The Child did the drawing, see the video below (which is only about a minute).  It’s amazing how much he’s grown up from last year (you can see that video here).

So if the winner could kindly contact me, I’ll get the package off to you posthaste.

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Just to prove the drawing was legit, haha!

As well, a big thank you to my readers/my friends for following my blog, my running, and my life!  You are much appreciated!  (And yes, this song is on one of my running playlists, ;D)

By the way, James has posted his race recap on Tulsa… he did a great job!  You can read about that here.

Patient of the Year and Giveaway

I work at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, a rescue and rehab facility for wildlife.

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In May 2015, this baby beaver was discovered by some campers.  He was without his mother and too young to survive on his own, so the campers brought him to us.  We actually already had a female beaver with us who was rehabbing from an animal attack, and the two beavers were eventually put together.  The older female became a surrogate to the baby male.

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The two beavers spent a year with us.  This past spring they were both released, together, in a secluded area with lots of access to trees, water, and natural habitat.

Beavers play a crucial role in biodiversity.  Many species rely on beaver-created habitat, and a lot of these species who rely on beavers are threatened or endangered.  This year, the baby American beaver was made Patient of the Year at Sarvey. Ornaments and cards were made to celebrate this particular animal.

In honor of this little guy and with the hope of bringing awareness to the importance of beavers, I am holding a giveaway.  One person will win an ornament featuring the baby beaver, a blank holiday card to coincide with the ornament, a Sarvey Wildlife Calendar which has lots of fun tidbits on the inside, and a Sarvey tote bag.  All you have to do is write “Go Hawks” in the comment section!!  Okay, just kidding… let me know if you’re interested with a comment and I’ll put your name in the drawing.  Or send an email to neveradullbling(at)gmail.com.  The drawing will be held this Friday (12/11) around 5 p.m., and I might even get AJ to participate by drawing the name while I’m recording it (gasp!).

BENEFITS OF BEAVER PONDS

  • Decrease damaging floods
  • Recharge drinking water aquifers
  • Remove pollutants from surface and ground water
  • Drought protection
  • Decreased erosion

For more information on Sarvey Wildlife, please visit their website at sarveywildlife.org, or follow them on Facebook.  Sarvey is a nonprofit organization that relies solely on donations.  If you’re interested in purchasing an ornament, calendar, or tote bag for yourself, please visit Sarvey’s website… and make sure to say Paula sent you.  🙂

All photos used with permission from Sarvey Wildlife.

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Thursday’s Happenings

It was a gorgeous day in the Pacific Northwest today… unseasonably sunny and warm.  I hope this isn’t the warm before the storm, BUT, I’ll bask in it for the short time we have it.

And when it’s sunny, this usually happens at the center:

All kinds of animals were released into the beautiful sunshine today (yes, even some squirrels), but the above red-tail hawk was especially happy to be sprung.  He was none too pleased to be in a hospital for the short time he was there.  Fly and be free, little guy!

Also, James and I were contacted by the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa coming up.  We have been chosen to be on the blogging panel at the expo for the marathon as their first ever “couple” bloggers.  We will be at the expo on Saturday, November 19th, from 3 to 4 p.m.  If you happen to be running Route 66, please stop by and say hi!  We would love to meet you!  This will be the next-to-the-last race for us for the year, with the Mukilteo Turkey Trot the following week being the last and final race for 2016 (phew!).

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James’s site is still having problems showing up in the reader, so if you follow him, he’s just posted about his October goals.  You can see his latest post here.  He can be quite funny at times you know, 🙂

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

  • Will you be in Tulsa on the 20th?
  • If you run, is a Turkey Trot on your schedule?
  • Do you prefer hamburgers or hot dogs?  😉

 

 

Squirrel Apocalypse

Baby season at the rescue center is finally starting to wind down, with most orphaned or injured spring babies getting ready to be released.  Fawns will be released in October, raccoons and raptors in September, coyotes around the end of September/beginning of October… but now is the season of the 2nd generation of squirrels.  We lovingly refer to this as squirrel apocalypse.  By the end of the month, our baby mammal room will be filled to the brim with baby squirrels, each incubator filled with 5 or 6 squirrels each (they love to cuddle with each other).  I wrote about this last year close to this time.  It’s important enough that I think it deserves a repeat.

Squirrel Talk

wpid-68747470733a2f2f776562746f6f6c666565642e66696c65732e776f726470726573732e636f6d2f323031322f30342f637574652d737175697272656c2d6c312e6a7067.jpgWildlife rescue and rehab centers are coming up on a very busy season… squirrel season. By the middle of August, we will be inundated with baby squirrels who have fallen out of their nest or who have been chucked out by their mom for one reason or another.  Most squirrels have two breeding periods, December to February and May to June.  I don’t know what it is about the summer babies, but they are constantly falling out of their nests and landing on the ground for kind-hearted people or predators to find.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU COME ACROSS A BABY SQUIRREL:

If you can reach the nest, put the baby back in it.

If you don’t know where the nest is, leave him on the ground and gently press on the baby’s foot to make him call for his mom.  Then leave the area.  If the mom knows where her baby is, she’ll come down the tree and carry it back to the nest, but she will never come around if people are nearby.  You are a predator to her.  Check on the baby later to make sure mom found him.

If the above two options don’t work, gently place the baby in a box or container in which it can breathe and take it to your closest wildlife rescue center.  NEVER EVER try to raise or feed squirrels if you’re not a licensed rehabber.  Babies require very specific formula in order to keep them strong and healthy.  If not properly nourished, they will develop metabolic bone disease, a very painful condition that causes their bones to break which is extremely cruel and inhumane (I can’t stress this enough), and there’s nothing that can be done to save them.

To locate your nearest wildlife rescue, visit your state’s Fish and Wildlife website.  They will have resources to help you.  Or you can contact me and I can help you find your nearest rescue.

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Just for fun, I thought I’d do a running tally on squirrels this month to give you an idea of what squirrel apocalypse is all about. Since August 1st, we have admitted 10 squirrels.  While 10 may not sound like all that many right now… think about it… that’s 10 little mouths that need to be hand fed multiple times per day.  Stay tuned… 😀

A Day In The (Wild) Life…

Disclaimer, or warning, or whatever:  The beginning of this post is not a happy one… if you want sunshine and roses, skip to paragraph 7.

I may possibly have a couple of new friends who don’t actually know what I do during the day… I work for a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility.  I am not a rehabber… I cannot work medical magic on wildlife.  I am, however, the animal 9-1-1 operator of the Seattle area, from Blaine to Tacoma and beyond, and I am also one who will occasionally go out and rescue, and every now and again, I get the opportunity to release wildlife back into their area.

Sometimes, I have really bad days or weeks.  This was one of those weeks.  The following is just a sample of what I encounter day in and day out.  While I usually have to hold back on what I say and how I react, this post is aimed at letting those people know how I really feel.  Just consider this cathartic for me, because that’s exactly what it is.  I never actually said what I thought, but boy, would I have loved to.

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Source: Pinterest

To the woman who brought the baby American beaver in one full week after you called for advice… bad move.  You stated on the intake form that it had been “run over by cars.”  Had it been your cat or your dog that you’d seen being run over, would you have waited an entire week?!  How is it okay to watch an animal be run over by a car, and then wait 7 days to get it medical help?  Especially when said medical help is free??  I will never understand, but thank you for bringing it in.  Due to severe pain and internal injuries, it was humanely euthanized.  We quite possibly could have saved it and reversed its injuries, but you didn’t even give us a chance because you were selfish and didn’t bring it in as you were advised.

To the woman who felt it was necessary to “raise” a wild baby bunny for 2 weeks all by yourself without any experience or knowledge… bad move.  Had you brought it to us in the beginning, it would have been properly nourished and released back to the wild to be free.  The bunny you brought us, after 2 weeks of improper nourishment, was emaciated, dehydrated, and dying with agonal breathing.  As for the “lack of compassion” you accused me of having because I didn’t “pity” your situation… where was your compassion when you found this baby?  What made you think you could possibly raise this bunny to good health when you have zero wildlife rehab experience? People… I will tell you right here and right now… don’t trust what you read on the internet… wild bunnies are different from domestic bunnies, and their tummies do not absorb “goat’s milk” or “kitten replacement milk” as domestic bunnies may.  Do not feed wild bunnies milk or it will kill them.  And the reason the pet store won’t tell you this is because they want to sell you a load of products.  End result:  Euthanized, because it was suffering thanks to human intervention.

And, lastly, for the man who came upon a hawk while he was out on a trail riding his bike, a hawk that had a bag tied to its leg, the man wanted someone to come rescue the hawk after it had flown up to the underside of a bridge, a man who had no problem telling me I didn’t have “the balls or compassion” to rescue this animal with a bag tied to its leg… please, tell me, how would YOU catch a bird who can still fly?? You were afraid of its talons so you were frozen and just stood there until it flew away.  For crying out loud, put a sheet over it then put a box over it. But no, instead you decided to lay blame on me and the organization I work for because we didn’t “have the balls or compassion” to rescue it, even after I explained to you that I can’t rescue a bird who can still take flight.  I personally have lifted a full-sized deer into the back of a truck without hesitation, because my compassion gives me the strength and the balls to do so.  You, sir, however, only want to put the problem in someone else’s hands and then complain when they don’t do what you’d like them to do to solve your problem. But please, if you know of anyone who can catch a bird mid-flight, I’m all on it… give me that resource because I’d love to meet this superman.  The end result:  I redirected him to Fish and Wildlife so that he could tell THEM they didn’t have any “balls or compassion” as that’s what F&W get paid for.

***

However… all that being said… there are some really good and happy endings that make my job worthwhile.  I received this text from a lady in Issaquah, a single mom who had 4 children.  She texted me a photo of a deer dying on her property and asked for advice.  Unfortunately, I told her it had to be dispatched. This was the final response from her (notice… I had compassion):

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I was on the phone most of the day with a man who was concerned about a fledgling barn owl and he was reporting its every move.  We went and got the owl, and it was eventually released healthy and happy.

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Audubon.org

 

A baby raccoon was feared to be abandoned.  However, the man who called sent me a picture of the baby raccoon, and there was no evidence that it had been abandoned because it was clean and healthy.  I advised him to leave it alone and keep an eye on it.  Guess what?! Mom came back.

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attackofthecute.com

 

Got a call from a lady who felt a fawn had been abandoned by its mom because it was sitting in a road.  I told her to put it back exactly where she found it.  Mom immediately came.  The lady didn’t even have time to drive away.

 

And as for Daryl, the domestic bunny I babysit all day at work (he belongs to the clinic manager), he’s still alive and kicking, getting bigger and better and more and more spoiled.  He’s standing up in his enclosure, wondering why I haven’t picked him up recently to give him cuddles.  He knows me well and totally knows how to play me.

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A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10 (KJV)

If you run across an injured or orphaned animal, please, please, please contact your nearest rescue center.  And if we occasionally say that sometimes it’s best to let nature take its course, believe it to be true.  Nature has been around a lot longer than we have.