LUCKY GARVIN: 3 Wildlife Memories

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While there are sorrows in the rehabbing of injured, orphaned, or diseased wildlife, there are two events which make the endeavor worth the while. One, of course, is the release of a fit, healthy bird or mammal.

The other involves having the wisdom to know when a little one has no need of us, and to re-unite it with its mom [who always knows better how to raise her young than we.]

A fellow rehabber had that happen a few days ago. Sally arrived at a site where a baby grey squirrel had been wind-blown from its nest. She determined the baby was uninjured and spotted its drey [a natural squirrel nest] up the tree. Then the baby began a high-pitched screaming and mom’s head poked out of the drey. She crept slowly down the trunk towards her baby.

Squirrels have an unusual squall when danger is nearby; presumably it warns its community; this time, however, it was to warn off the rehabber. Sally put the little one on the tree-trunk where it stuck like Velcro, then she backed away. Mom kept squalling, baby kept screaming. Mom came slowly down the trunk till she was nose-to-nose with her baby, then turned and scampered up a few feet. The baby climbed a few inches and stopped. Mom came back down, did the nose-thing, and up she went. Baby climbed a few more inches. On and on this sequence was repeated until baby was safely back home with mom. Sally, ya done good!

He wouldn’t live, that much we knew. An adolescent squirrel with a over-sized head injury, scant hair, and more. Pituitary tumor? His very oddness made him adorable. Cage-time didn’t improve his condition. One of our volunteers grew very attached to him in the month it took us and our vet to sort out his prospects. We had to put him down; there was no hope. She hurriedly made him a tiny ‘hoodie’ made of soft cloth to keep him warm in his solitary little grave. Sorrow does that to us sometimes: to defy all logic, and try to help when there is no help …

When is the value of three dollars greater than the value of one hundred dollars? When the person, obviously dealing with hard times in his own life, brings you a rescue bird, empties his pocket, and gives you all he has to donate: three dollars. The offer was genuine and heartfelt. To refuse such is to insult. We reluctantly accepted, and assured him how much help it would be for our babies. This amazing gift did more for us than he could know.

Lucky Garvin

– Lucky Garvin