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Posts Tagged ‘wild animals’

Emerging from carrier

The other day we got a call from Sparrow our local wildlife rehabilitator.  There were two foxes that needed to be released.  It wasn’t skunks so I was down with it.  Not that I have anything against skunks, but we have had too many close calls between the husky and skunks, and many a nights we have arisen from our slumber with tears in our eyes due the odor of Pepe Le Pew. 

This morning we picked up the foxes. I believe it was the first time I’ve seen foxes up close and they are incredibly beautiful animals. When the foxes left the safety of the carriers and started running around the woods, well lets just say it was one of those indescribable magical moments that will last a long time for both my wife and I. 

I have been unable to download video onto this blog, so I only brought my trusty little camera down to the release rather than my supercool video camera.  My little camera does take some decent movies and I did manage to capture some of the excitement.  I also managed to create a YouTube account and posted the video here.  So this is my first appearance on YouTube.  Before you click on the link see the photo’s below.  I’d also like to take a moment to thank Robyn (aka Sparrow) and the good folks at Centre Wildlife Care for giving us the opportunity.

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Saturday started off normal enough.  Got up at the regular time of 5:30am to let the dog do her thing and make breakfast for the pets.  As I crawled back into bed I noticed it was very warm in our room so I cracked one window open about an inch and half figuring that would let the cool air in while keeping the snow and wind out.

A few hours later I’m suddenly awake, my wife is asking telling me there is a bird in the room.  The six cats are jumping off the shelves, dresser and bed, launching themselves at the low ceiling and windows as a little bird zooms around the room.  My wife and I fly out of bed and ‘join’ and by join I mean ‘add’ to the pandemonium.  My wife decides to put all the cats in the bathroom so we can rescue the bird safely.  Putting the plan in motion she grabs a cat and in the bathroom it goes, I’m quick on her heels with another cat.  Two in, four to go.  In the back of my head I hear the voice of worry, is it really a good idea to shove six excited cats who don’t really get along into a tiny bathroom together?  My wife opens the bathroom door to toss in a third cat, in the process the first two escape.  I snag another cat, but when I open the bathroom door I free the captive cat in the process.  Keep in mind we went from a dead sleep to total pandemonium to the implementation of a plan in mere moments. 

“Wait!, where is the bird?” I asked. In the moment I took to try to get a better grasp of the situation I noticed that while the cats were still excited they seemed to be looking for the bird and not finding it.  Could it have found its way back out the window?  We stopped and looked and listened.  No sign of the bird surely if it was still in the room the cats would know, but they were also looking.  My wife went to open the curtains a little wider and she noticed Trouble staring intently, following his gaze my wife spotted the bird on a shelf.  Everybody spotted it at the same time.  Once again chaos ensues.  Now we were a little more awake the task was to toss the cats into the living room.  Once again every time we got a cat out the door, the previously evicted cat would sneak back in.  Finally we got all the cats clear of the room and opened up all the bedroom windows as wide as we could.  Once again we lost track of the dang bird!

As I am starting to freeze to death in our room my wife says to me, “Do you think the bird flew into the living room while we had the door open?” We look stupidly at one another, my wife heads into the living room while I keep watch in the bedroom.  Half a minute later I hear through the closed-door, “The bird is out here”  As I step out the door my wife is heading towards me with a cat in her arms, “Cats back in the bedroom” she calls out as she starts to pass me.

“Wait!” I yell in a panicked voice, “windows in the bedroom are wide open”

“Shit”

I ran back into the unbelievably cold bedroom and closed all the windows.  Once again we were faced with the task of herding all six cats through another door.  This time we had the added benefit of the dog howling away in the laundry room.  Finally we managed to separate the bird from the cats.  The bird (a Carolina wren) seemed to be in good condition and we managed to gently usher it through the door.  My wife and I sat down and took a collective deep breath. After a minute or so of silence I asked,  “So, breakfast at Denny’s?”

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French class in high school lasted an hour a day for our entire youth, we were forced to do two things,  conjugate every verb on the planet and read the book,  “La Dynamite”.   ‘La Dynamite’ was about these guys who had to transport TNT over an old logging road to get to the job site.  The previous drivers died on the way because the truck hit a pothole and the TNT exploded.   

One fall day my wife and I found ourselves driving home with two pet carriers full of  skunks in our back seat.   Yes we were holding our breath for fear of setting one or all of them off.    Sparrow the wild life rehabilitator promised they would not spray.  I wasn’t sure how she could make such a promise, after all they are wild skunks, but she promised and we trusted.  Sparrow failed to mention, (and we didn’t know enough to ask) that skunks stink even when they don’t spray.  

With the windows open and the air cranked, we cringed at every stop light, turn and bump on the road.  As the skunks chattered away in the back seat I thought about those two guys in ‘La Dynamite’ and really, they were idiots! Why the heck didn’t they just keep the blasting caps separated from the TNT?  

 

  

 

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My wife and I volunteer with a local wildlife rehaber to release small wild animals on our land.

Four squirrels brought to the shelter when they were just wee ones were now ready to be released. When we got to the shelter Sparrow, (yes it’s a fake name to protect the innocent and for those that know her it is kind of funny) the director of the facility handed us  two pillowcases, two squirrels in each, both sacks are knotted at the top, the contents of both were hissing, snarling and squirming.   As I held a squirming hissing sack as far from my body as possible, Sparrow  gave us our instructions,  ” just untie the knot but leave the top of the sack twisted,  gently place the whole thing into the squirrel box close the lid and let the squirrels be, they will slowly work themselves out of the pillowcases”.

Off we drove with two sacks of hissing, snarling squirrels in our back seat.  Not much was said on the way home, each lost in thought pretending we were not at all nervous about what may happen if whatever evil in those sacks managed to escape.

I was not feeling overly confident.  Raccoons and possums are much easier, open the cage let ’em out bring them some food and you are done.   Squirrels would seem easy enough to release, but frankly climbing up a ladder with a hissing, growling sack of squirrels in my hand was not overly comforting.

I’m in position for operation squirrel dump.  The plan: 1) Place the sack into the box.  2) Untie the knot.  3) Close the top of the box. 4) latch the top of the box closed. 5) scoot down the ladder for the safety of the ground, while my wife takes pictures.  In goes the hissing sack, top of box is closed and latched.  I’m halfway down the ladder but I’m not happy.  I can never seem to leave well enough alone.  The hissing has stopped there are now sounds at all.  I reach up and give a little knock on the box, nothing.   I climb back up the ladder and unlatch the lid.  All I remember is a grey blob heading towards me, soft fuzz against my check, a growl in my ear and weight on my shoulder and then nothing.  My heart pounding, I’m holding  the ladder in a white knuckle death grip, my wife is hunched over visibly shaking, tears of laughter streaming down her cheeks.  I get myself under control as I know there is another one in the box.  I make it to the ground we are both standing back from the tree watching the box.   “You know,” I said to my wife, my eyes never leaving the small hole in the box. “I never actually saw a squirrel.  How do we know what is really in there?” Her response?  gails of laughter.  My heart finally settling down,  slowly making my way to the tree to retrieve my ladder, that’s when I see it,  just a few feet away lying in the grass is the other hissing and snarling pillowcase…

It seems that if you click on the pictures it makes them better, I recommend clicking on the picture to the right.

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