Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
This past week we signed the paperwork for our construction loan provided by Alliance Bank of Arizona and Comerica Bank. This is momentous because it marks the onset of our construction. We also signed our contract with Okland Construction, the team who will build our dream.
All things going as planned and I certainly expect them to (There, I’ve said it!), we should have an 8 month build out. We plan to be in our new digs by March/April of 2016. It has been a long time coming! Thanks for the patience from all of you.
We invite you to follow our progress starting with our ‘virtual” ground breaking in a week or so. It is way too hot to assemble a fitting and burgeoning crowd during the hottest and most unpredictable weather season of the year. Sun, heat, humidity and potential storms make the option of a virtual ground breaking as opposed to an actual one very positive.
We will prepare a video of our virtual ground breaking and provide a link to it on our web page. You will be able to follow our progress weekly through our web page and our blog.
We have begun planning the move which should be a challenging at best. Many questions need to be asked and answered. What is going to move with us, what will be recycled, what will be stored (not much) and how will the animals make the migration to their new territory? Hundreds of animals both rehabbing animals and educational ambassadors will be relocated. It has been suggested that the continuous stream of vehicular movement carrying animals safely tucked in their individual “arks” will resemble a vehicular Noah’s Ark.
Be sure to follow our progress. The excitement is palpable. It is not too late for each of you to be a part of this exciting time. Let me know how you want to be involved. There are numerous naming opportunities, bricks to pave the path through the educational side of the building, rooms, benches, golf carts, amphitheater, educational rooms, surgical suites, the overlook, the wetlands, etc. So many ways to create your legacy with Liberty Wildlife at our nature and conservation center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.
Bring on the heavy equipment, plant the trees, create the spaces. Watch the blog, follow the links and you will feel like you are there. See you soon at 2600 E. Elwood.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for the year has reached 5115.
Yes, we reached our 5,000th animal last week and unless the intake rate crashes entirely, we’ll surpass last year’s record of 5212 later on this week. The bad news is that in the past seven months, over 5,000 animals needed help. The good news is that Liberty Wildlife was there to help, either to give medical care to rehabilitate and release them, or to provide comfort while we gently help them cross the rainbow bridge without fear or pain. As we look forward to moving to a new larger facility, we hope everyone who believes we are doing a good job of caring for the wildlife and educating the public in our great state, will join with us and support our work both emotionally and financially. The new “Liberty Wildlife on the Rio Salado” will be bigger and better, but it won’t be cheaper. Don’t forget: injured wild animals don’t carry health insurance, and we don’t get any tax money to support our efforts. Make a contribution, buy a brick, put your name on something – do something concrete to help us continue our mission. The animals we help and the kids we educate will thank you for years to come! OK, now let’s look at what happened last week…
As the dew point rises with the onset of the monsoon, our A/C unit historically begins to generate recycled water as the moisture condenses from the process. Susie Vaught rigged up a “Magyver” drain which produces a small trickle of water under the intake window. Not only does it provide moisture for the row of plants along the west wall, but this grackle regularly visits the puddle, drinking and bathing as the heat dries up other water sources. Once again, Liberty leads the way in total use and recycling!
Our Orphan Care people got a lot of experience this year in the handling and care of tiny native mammals. Lots of round-tail ground squirrels, antelope squirrels, and rock squirrels came to us for care and all were given the ingredients of life (food, water, warmth and safety) until they could be released. This training will be invaluable when we expand mammalian care at the new facility.
Intake number 5,000 was a young male raven which came in last week presenting several issues. Most obvious was a severely damaged wing which Jan originally thought might be a candidate for pinning. I brought him down to Dr. Driggers in Gilbert the next morning for possible surgery in hopes he could be saved.
Unfortunately, the radiography told a dire tale.
It seems the bird had been shot with one of the ubiquitous .177cal pellets which probably caused his other injuries: a wing broken from crashing after being shot, and a severe heart contusion from the same incident. It is disheartening to see how firearms and their related merchandise are marketed without thought to regulation or collateral damage to protected (yes, ravens are protected) species.
As it turned out, the bird was humanely put to sleep as there was no real hope of repairing the damage to his wing and heart. A sad end to a young, intelligent animal who posed no threat to anyone.
The four little GHO babies that were rescued from a road sign nest above the US 60 highway near Apache Junction last April are nearing release. They are now in the “live kill” stage of rehabilitation along with over 19 other orphan great horned owls (all still wearing their ID bands for positive identification) and should be ready for release in a few days. A media event is planned for their return to the AJ area from where they came. We’ll keep you posted!
It’s really nice having at least two and sometimes three vets (Drs. Orr, Wyman, and Becker) on duty for “Vet Night” these days. Not only can the task of checking all the patients in ICU be accomplished more quickly, but the vets and vet-techs can collaborate on both diagnosing and treating animals with outstanding results for everyone.
Any aspiring wildlife photographers out there? Pick your best shots and send me one or two for the upcoming 2015 Wing Beats! You’ll get credit if we use anything and you might get to see your photo in print! Please make sure the files are in .jpg format and between 180-300dpi. Deadline is August 15. To: firstname.lastname@example.org