Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ugh! Where to begin......

Well I finally have my laptop back. Looks like some of my files are gone forever. Lovely!

It's been a melancholy few days. I stepped out my front door yesterday morning to find a cat had been hit and killed right in front of my house that I had been feeding. There is a cat hoarder two doors down and many of her angels come here looking for food. He was my next neuter project.

The night before, I received a call about another Golden eagle from Monticello. This one had been hit by a vehicle. We met our Moab DWR office, TJ Robertson in Green River, Utah to pick up the bird. I made arrangements for our vet to x-ray the eagle the next morning, so off we went. We also took Fury, the lead poisoning eagle with us for another x-ray.

At this point, she has just finished up two rounds of chelation therapy for the lead remaining in her body. We have had many problems along the way, including her crop stopping as well as the rest of her gastrointestinal tract. We just kept plugging along and we have seen progress, ever so gradually. Yesterdays x-ray showed no more lead! Yay!

There still may be residual lead in her brain or other tissues, so we are not out of the woods yet, but the pieces in her body are now gone. This is HUGE! She has also started eating on her own. Another major hurdle.

The newer eagle, a male was in horrific shape. There was so much trauma that I couldn't do a complete exam. He needed to be put under so as to not feel the pain that a complete exam would have caused him. Once under, the complete picture of the damage was apparent. This magnificent creature had broken bones and a great deal of tissue missing surrounding the broken bones, which would make repair impossible. Nerves, tendons and muscle; all gone.

With a great deal of saddness, we ended his suffering. These times are very emotional, taking even more from us, but no where near was he has lost. It's still difficult thinking about it.

I've included his intake pictures and a couple of shots of the broken bones and pieces from that break. Not only had he been hit, but it was very apparent that he was dragged for some distance. The good samaritan that found Fury out in the alphalfa field in Monticello also found this guy. Thank goodness for Keith and his wife Dee.

We also have released all but one of our orphaned Starling babies. Connie released two today.

Another new patient, a male Red-Tail hawk, is sure puzzling. He came in, found in a field on the ground. His feathers are in bad shape but he has no injuries. His feet have some markings on them that lead me to believe he may have been electrocuted. We're giving him supportive care and force feeding him. He was well fleshed when he came in, indicating he had not been down for long. Mystery.

This work has many rewards and then there are those days when it's very sad and difficult.

They kind of equal themselves out over time.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sad and trying time................

You know, it's so frustrating when you see needless suffering day in and day out. We now have another lead poisoning patient, this time it's an adult female Golden eagle. What a magnificent creature she is. She is an older bird, of course I don't know her exact age, but there are tale-tale indicators that she is older. She's lived through countless situations only to be close to death due to some idiots shooting innocent prairie dogs because they enjoy killing them and then they leave their little bodies lying on the ground, loaded with lead. Numerous predators see this as an easy meal, which it is, but it is also certain death.
I'm so sick of this lead problem. We as a society have known about the problems with lead ingestion for many years. The government forced it's removal from paint in the 60's and yes, there was a fight from the paint industries saying "the paint won't stick to walls without the lead"; well we know that's a load of crap, don't we.
The sports groups along with the NRA, through misinformation and fear are trying to convince (and doing a fine job at it) the regular hunter that the lead issue in hunting, shooting or whatever they want to do, is really about ending the 'rights' to use these weapons. Hogwash. This is no more about stopping hunting than the removal of lead in paint was about ending the rights of painters! We have proof from many studies all over the world that this is a problem and regardless, we all know lead is a problem, when ingested by kids, why wouldn't it be the same in animals as well. IT IS!
I'm also sick of the comments that the copper ammunition is 'too expensive'. Give me a break! It's mere pennies and money isn't the issue here when you're spending thousands of dollars on weapons, equipment and the latest and greatest gadgets for the 'hunt'. Or better yet, that new truck to get you into more remote areas where the animals hide.
To watch an animal die from lead poisoning is absolutely heartbreaking. There is only so much that can be done for these victims and if they are found many days after the ingestion, it's probably too late, but we have to try. The treatment is also very hard on their bodies which are already under assault due to the lead.
Stop using lead ammunition! I just want to scream!

I have no pictures to upload at this time since I'm having to use my husbands computer since mine is at the shop and that is where all my wildlife photo's are.
There are other things, patient wise, going on right now, but this is our main focus.
The Starling babies are all doing well and growing up fast. We have been able to release 4 of them at this point. There are 5 remaining.

Well that's it for now.

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