Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Sadly, we have to say good bye to an old friend. Recently our wonderful employee, past volunteer, friend, and all around stand up person, Carolee Bryan left us. We are all very saddened by the loss.
It isn’t every day that you find someone who corners the market of good qualities. She started at Liberty Wildlife after retiring from the corporate world…never one to be idle. How lucky for us that her energy came our way. She was an integral
part of our Orphan Care department, training new volunteers, keeping things organized and prepared in order to nourish for release a plethora of orphan animals.
She eventually saw a need to bring her corporate skills to our office and became my hard working office assistant. She kept the books with detail and integrity like she did with every other thing she touched. She was spot on with all public interfaces and could defuse any potential “situation” with tact and kindness. That was what she was about.
She was also about work ethic. It seemed that she mentored everyone without any intentional plan to do so. She had that ability to sit at her desk, cut out any interference, and get a job done. For any of you who have been in our tiny office, you will greatly appreciate how difficult that is to do. If you looked in the dictionary under dedication to job, you would find a picture of Carolee Bryan.
Lest this makes her sound like a boring workaholic let me assure you, that she could also have fun. I can still hear her laughter when something struck her funny bone. She knew how to have a good time…but it was all so incredibly appropriate.
She was thoughtful, compassionate, and just all around delightful. She kept me in line. She was always there when she was needed. She was a teacher to me as well as many others at Liberty Wildlife over the years. She will be missed beyond words.
We are planning to dedicate a special bench to her at our new facility in remembrance of the important part she played in the lives of many animals and many folks over the years. If you would like to be a part of remembering Carolee, let me know. She always was a comforting place to support someone in need.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for 2016 is now at 46.
The year is rumbling ahead and the big move is looming on the horizon. The usual suspects are in our care, leading off with a great horned owl that made the long trip up from Sierra Vista (via Christie van Cleve and Sherrill Snyder). There are a number of kestrels, Harris’ hawks, and tortoises in the rehabilitation process currently, but at the other end of the pipeline, there have been some releases as well. We also received our first California condor of the season last week. It’s shaping up to be a busy year above and beyond the move to the new facility.
Having more than one vet attending on Tuesday night “Vet Night” is a big help and speeds things up noticeably. Plus, the doctors sometimes get to work with animals for the first time which is fun for them – and great for the animals! Lots of veterinarians never get the chance to work with wildlife and the experience is good for everybody.
This cormorant came up from near Arizona City last week. Presenting some foot/leg injury of unknown origin, he showed everybody that he was still capable of being obstreperous with his razor-sharp beak. I will say no more…
Coots are fascinating birds of the rallidae (Rail) family. Their feet are really interesting as they are covered with lobed scales that fold back for walking on land, and flare out like little paddles when they are swimming in water. This little guy presented a foot injury which will be treated, hopefully leading to his release into one of the many lakes around Phoenix.
The raven that was seriously burned in an electrical accident is still with us. The bird suffered damage or destruction of most of his feathers and has other flame damage as well but he’s fighting on. We’re hoping that the flash caused the greater part of his injury and not the high current which brings about deeper damage. The other raven that was with him when the incident occurred was killed. The equipment that caused the flash is the property of SRP who have expressed an interest in reimbursing Liberty for expenses incurred during this treatment, for which we are thankful! His condition is still serious but the longer he survives, the better his chances for survival become.
Our friend Christie in Sierra Vista sent us another GHO last week. This bird is apparently intact structurally, but presents symptoms of a possible head injury. He is currently under observation and is getting cage rest and a good diet while his condition is evaluated.
Last year at this time, we took in California condor #272 with some serious lead poisoning issues (see TW@L, Jan. 26, 2015). The bird remained with us until May at which time he had improved enough to be released. Late last week, 272 was brought back to us by the Condor Reintroduction Project of the Peregrine Fund. As the Director of the Project, Chris Parish, writes: “We trapped Condor 272 on 29-Dec-2015 and began treatment for high lead levels (Field Analyzer = >65ug/dl, Lab Value = 350ug/dl) on the morning of 30-Dec-2015. The bird appeared to be responding well to treatment and maintaining weight until two nights ago, 8-Jan-2016 when his crop became increasingly distended, a result of continued feeding without processing, and we suspected crop paralysis (stasis). We notified Dr. Orr at Liberty Wildlife and transported him there yesterday afternoon, 9-Jan-2016.” Sadly, Condor 272, a a captive-bred 2002 hatch-year male, died the next morning from complications of lead poisoning. A necropsy is pending.
One of the coolest things a volunteer gets to do is release a bird that has been successfully rehabilitated. Last week volunteer Sarah Briggs got the chance to send a peregrine falcon back into the skies of Arizona. She sent these pictures of the great event which took place in perfect peregrine habitat in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. Sarah writes: “Here are the photos from a release I did on Saturday 1/2/16 out at the Superstitions. We drove to the Picketpost trailhead, hiked in a bit and found a good spot for release. Such a beautiful experience and I hope I get to do it again soon! Thank you!”
Weekly progress on the New Facility