The Wild and the...Not

The Wild and the...Not

 

Many of you are probably aware that Wildlife Rehabilitators are out there tending our injured critters, usually for nominal pay. They are certified to care for animals and birds that need specialized, attentive care--giving veterinarians a place to refer clients with their injured squirrels, baby birds, etc.

In terms of the release of animals, I figured they are generally in a hurry to get back to their wild lives and the opening of the door to whatever cage was met with immediate vanishment. What follows is a story from my mom, who inhabits property conducive to the release of wild things--in this case great horned owls. I thought you might enjoy a taste of the reality of the "release" experience.

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Report on owl release:

First of all, M. showed up with two big cages, two big birds, and both of them in Very Bad Moods. The slightly elder of the two put on such a I Hate You show I would never have opened the cage door! The creature fluffed itself up to 3 times its actual size, bugged the eyes out, and made a machine-gun type rattle with its beak.

But M. donned her gloves, drug the thing out of the cage, swung it around a few times and tossed it into the air, and it winged away just as one would hope.

OK, time for the second bird. M. pulled it out of the cage, and exclaimed...."You're so heavy, you're so fat! You'll never fly" and she was right. She tossed it, and it splatted down onto the garage apron. A moment of horror for me.

All of this did not improve the bird's mood. She retrieved the owl and sat it on our fence, where she spritzed it with the hose, as it was hyperventilating, and we all went into the house to cool (another 90 degree day) and hope the bird would collect itself and leave.

It didn't. 90 minutes later, M. finally loaded it back up and said she'd be putting it on a diet!!

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Evidently, the End of the 5-course mouse buffet is Nigh. 

Thanks for reading!

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