Monday, January 26, 2009
TIME TO CATCH UP..............
The last post was Lefty's release. I briefly mentioned Ivy, an eagle that came in on January 9th. She is an amazing creature. We actually got the call for her on Monday the 5th. Connie and I were on our way to Moab for a radio interview, so I called another volunteer (Debbie#2) to go out there. She went and walked the area for a couple of hours until a storm moved in and she had to leave.
The next morning, I grabbed another volunteer (Diane) and went out looking again. This spot is about and hour and 1/2 from where I live. We walked the area for awhile and could see nothing. Usually there is something, such as road kill in the road where a eagle might have been eating, or feathers from the impact, but there was absolutely nothing. With regret, we left.
Then three days later, I get a call from a federal Forestry biologist named Jeff Jewkes. He started to tell me that a co-worker had also seen this bird on the highway after she had been hit. This co-worker got the bird off of the road, but never said anything to anyone until he got back to his office on this particular Friday. I told him what I knew and he volunteered to take some people and go out to look for this bird.
I couldn't believe it when he called me several hours later telling me they had found the bird in the area where his co-worker had helped her off of the road, and she was still alive.
I was elated. He drove her to me, where we all waited for her arrival.
How this bird was still alive, well, they continually amaze me. Out there in the freezing cold with massive trauma, snow, rain, other predators. She had 7 breaks between 2 bones, the radius and ulna, with bones protruding and dry (now dead). She hadn't eaten in 5 days. She had lice and was dehydrated.
We took her in for surgery the next day. She did well and I picked her up from my vet's office a few days later. She's a graceful bird with a lot of strength.
We could sure use a sponsor for her. Her medical expenses are huge and will be growing. The name Ivy came from Jeff, the Forestry guy. He said there is a creek near where she was found named Ivy Creek, so Ivy it is!
Then, on the 16th, we had an adult female Coopers hawk brought in from Emery county with a compound fracture of her left wing. The poor thing was terrified. Two days later, we had an adult female red-tail hawk brought in from Payson, Utah, with horrific trauma to her right leg. It was mangled and needed an x-ray, as did the Coopers. That same day, my volunteer in Moab called me with an injured male Norther Harrier hawk. We met half way in Green River, Utah to pick him up.
He too had a compound fracture. His radius on his right wing was sticking out. I don't know that I've had this many compound fractures in so short of a time.
I called my vet's office to get in on Monday the 19th of January for x-rays on all 3 patients. My vet doesn't work on Mondays, but at least I could get an idea of what we were dealing with.
The Coopers' x-ray showed her broken bones were caused by a gunshot. Unbelievable. Where are all of these idiot's coming from! Her surgery was schedualed for the next morning with my vet.
The red-tail hawk had also been shot, with something that fragmented in her. There was no way to repair her leg, so we had to euthanize this magnificent creature. I notified the Division of Wildlife Resources regarding the illegal activity involving these 2 birds. The last bird, the Northern Harrier, was scheduled for surgery the next morning, but when we went in to check on him, he had not recovered from the anesthesia used for the x-ray. This poor bird died before we could help him.
We left the Cooper's hawk at the vet's and went home. What a day!
My vet called me the following morning with bad news. The Cooper's hawk died during surgery. It was just too much for her. These birds are high strung and are prone to stress related problems and death. Three for three. How depressing. This job takes a lot from you at times and those few days were a perfect example.
So now there have been three patients that have been shot so far. Shu, the Bald eagle, the Cooper's hawk that passed away during her surgery and the red-tail hawk we had to euthanize due to her trauma. Sickening!
A few day's later, we got a call from a gentleman from Savage Coal Trucking, telling us that they had hit a golden eagle. I asked them to protect the bird (I know those roads well and there is a lot of semi traffic on them) and get it off of the road and in his vehicle. He did and Connie and I picked the bird up at their offices. We got him home and found he had massive trauma to his left wing with a compound fracture of his humerus. He also had a lot of head trauma with blood coming out of his nostrils and mouth. He also had a large external parasite load. We gave him meds for the lice, pain and possible infection from an exposed bone (preventative). We got him down to my vet's the next day and he had surgery that same day. So I have 4 eagles now, all with a great deal of metal in their respective wings. Each of these surgeries were over $1,100, so people, we need some help here! There will be more to come, but that's what we're looking at already.
Last, but not least, the next day (Sunday) my volunteer Dave called and said he had a Cooper's hawk that was injured. Again, we met him in Green River and came home. This birds' left wing was almost completely amputated from trauma. I also noticed two spots on her body that looked suspicious and found holes, yes, another gunshot victim. That's four now in less than a month. I called Dave and told him what I found. I also notified the law enforcement officer in Moab, TJ and another officer here in Price. We had to euthanize her due to her injuries as well. Cooper's hawks don't make good education birds because of their stress levels, so I would never do that to one of them. I'm about ready to go on a shooting spree myself! I just don't get it. These people make me sick. An animal has suffered terribly and if they had a mate, so will their mate.
Now I will find some pictures to add to this post to share with all of you. If you've ever considered donating to a good cause, I can't think of a better one than these creatures we are trying to nurse back to health after stupid people have had contact with them. That's where all of my money goes!
Feathered brothers and sisters, you came to us broken and as you bled…….we saw you desperate, dehydrated, desiccated, diseased, distressed, emaciated, famished, frayed, frightened, helpless, hungry, ragged, ravenous, shaken, shocked, shot, sickly, stressed, stunned, tattered, thirsty, traumatized, torn, weary and wounded. Defiantly, you stood us off with your last breath as we tried to tend to you. We saw you come in as cute, naked, fuzzy, cuddly youth, as mischievous, defiant adolescents, as fierce, regal rulers of the sky and as cunning, maimed elders whose time on earth was almost done. You endeared yourselves to us, bit us, charmed us, footed us, delighted us, hissed at us, talked to us, mantled at us, and graced us with your presence.
Some of you mended and were able to go on your way, never looking back. Some of you were injured in ways that prevented you from going, so you stayed with us to teach us…….And we came to love you. Others were too far gone, and you went home - where you fly free from pain with the Great One. All of you have touched us, and we are changed because of you.
used with permission by Arlene Powers