Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Needing Rehab

It's been a while since I've done a rehab/sanctuary post so here comes one. It all started with a dream.

Walden (the cat) and I were living in an old rundown place which in retrospect reminded me of Grey Gardens. I noticed a young grey squirrel crying and wandering around the floor among some stray oak leaves. I decided to open a window to let him out, but there was a high pile of junk blocking the window. As I started moving the junk, I noticed that up in a corner by the ceiling was a nest with three faces looking at me while making quiet mewing sounds. More squirrels, I thought, but when I looked more closely realized they were tiny tamarins, but not the cotton-top variety from my docent days. Should I call the manager? No, he might kill them. I know, I'll call a wildlife rehabber. And then I woke up, suspecting Walden's usual morning noise-making as part of the inspiration.

So here are a couple rehab blogs I discovered recently, and if you know of more, please let me know. I've been searching, but usually rehabbers are much too busy to blog.

I was delighted to find The Laughing Raccoon. I mean, it's raccoons, which make up most of my very limited rehab experience. And it's from Massachusetts where I might well be living in five months. And through it, I discovered there's an association of rehabbers there. Did I mention there are lots of raccoon photos? I would say adorable raccoon photos, but that would be redundant.

From way down in Florida come Redhawk's Raptor Diaries. The January 23rd post features a peregrine falcon, the species I watch in a downtown nestbox every year. Fortunately, this bird's problem seems to have been only that she'd eaten too much to fly. And see if you spot the screech owl in another photo.

You can get cranky about wildlife rehabbers interfering with nature if you want (though usually the rehabber is needed because some other human interfered with nature) -- I just think they're some of the best humans around.


Northland said...

I agree with you on your general assessment that wildlife rehabbers are "some of the best humans around."
On the other side of the human spectrum are those who prey upon animals to make money, mostly to satisfy people's vanity. The trapper is one who especially has to be scarred mentally by what he or she does. A poem that I revisited from years ago, by an Alaskan trapper illustrates this blood craft:

"The Man Who Skins Animals"
By John Haines

He comes down from the hill/ just at dusk,with a faint / clinking of chains./

He speaks to no one, and when/ he sits down by the fire/ his eyes, staring into the/ shadows, have a light like drops/ of blood in the snow.

There is a small soft thing/ in the snow, and its ears/ are beginning to freeze.

Its eyes are bright, but/ what they see are not of this world/ but some other place/where the wind, warm/ and well fed, sleeps/ on a deep calm water.

greentangle said...

Sure, all you have to do is call the animal a "thing" or an "it" and presto, no pain.

The instructor in a class I'm taking said he considers trapping about the worst thing you can do to a wild animal.

Somewhere here there's a post about finding a squirrel dragging a trap and getting it off with a rehabber.