Faunahope cofounders encountered an injured raven today, flailing on the highway shoulder between high-speed traffic and a construction wall. She's now in the kind hands of Second Chance Wildlife Center, with wings intact and no evident internal injury but at least one leg badly damaged.

With any wild bird rescue, the odds aren't good; but there's at least a chance she's save-able even if not rehab-able for release. Worst-case scenario, she won't die slowly in pain and panic.

Dawn spotted her as we returned from dropping off future FHI exec (sweet son Trevor) at the airport, for return to dorm life after coming home for Dawn's wedding yesterday. We  didn't see the bird in time to stop without causing an accident, so turned around at the next exit.

When we reached her again, she had stopped flailing and was huddled on the concrete, facing the cement wall. There was a brief moment of roadside toplessness -- caught foolishly on the road without bird-saving gear, we needed to recruit clothing to the task. Dawn was wearing light layers, but my pullover was heavier and larger -- more suited to wild animal restraint.

Wardrobes adjusted, we approached carefully with a two-tiered rescue strategy, afraid we'd scare her into traffic and make things worse. Luckily I was able to gently cover her with my shirt, wrap her loosely, and return to the car without high drama.

Note: all wild animals are potentially dangerous. Don't try to rescue any wild creature, or put it in your car, unless you have training in handling hurt animals; any time you do so, it's the same as giving informed consent to whatever happens next. Right now, while you're thinking of it: seek out wildlife rescue organizations near you, and enter their contact information in your phone. Many times the safest option for you AND the animal is to call for professional help!

But that's not what we did in this case, since there were two of us with hurt-wildling experience; also, we thought (wrongly, I'm glad to say) that Second Chance was closed on Sundays.

The beautiful bird was alert, but surprisingly calm -- probably shock played a role, but we didn't have any trouble on the drive to the animal shelter. They have a networking relationship with Second Chance, and Dawn has left wildlings there for transport to the rescue center in the past.

But this time, shelter staff told us they weren't sure Second Chance would take the bird (by now being called Elvira) for rescue and rehab, due to the state of her leg(s). They suggested we take her to them ourselves, to discuss options in case rehab/ release isn't possible.

We were thrilled to find that indeed the wildlife rescue center is open on Sundays, and staffed by folks with kind and gentle hands -- with a beautiful painting on the wall that seemed put there just for us:

Elvira is resting comfortably, alert and without evident distress. We explained our concern that she be cared for even if she's save-able but not releasable, and were advised to call back to talk with the vet around 2:00 today. We'll see what happens; odds aren't good, but we did the best we could for her. 

She's in good hands, and we are deeply appreciative of the folks at Second Chance Wildlife Rescue Center for being there when we needed backup! If you're looking for a worthy nonprofit donatee (BESIDES FHI!), Second Chance does excellent work.

Help us hope for the best, for Elvira; and do let me know if (hypothetically) you might have room to adopt a one-legged raven, should the need arise!



11/12/2012 1:20pm

I am so sorry to report that despite our best efforts, and those of the good folks at Second Chance, Elvira has succumbed to her injuries. We were able to lessen her suffering, and this time that's the best we could do.

Physicist, environmentalist, social justice advocate, and one of my personal heroes Vandana Shiva said it best:

“You do not measure the fruit of your action; you have to measure your obligation for action. You have to find out what is the right thing to do – that is your duty. Whether you win or lose is not the issue.”

Thanks to all of you who try to reduce suffering in the world... it matters, even when the outcome isn't what you'd hoped.

Peace to all.


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