Monday, June 29, 2009

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 06/29/2009

While this time of year can be amazingly busy, frustrating and exhausting, it is also a time of exhilaration. Just when we think things are slowing down, something (not totally understood) happens and the heavens rain more creatures on us… we are very busy once again. That of course brings with it more frustrations and the exhaustion. It’s our job, and we deal with it. But, it also lays the groundwork for one of the most rewarding parts of the job of rehabilitation—the releases. Although we do releases throughout the year, during this season we see the greatest return to the wild, and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

The release process is complicated. First the animal has to be judged ready to go free. That means it is healthy, fledgling age, has as good an idea of self feeding as we can provide, and in the case of avian patients, flies with strength supportable of the wild. A proper location for release has to be chosen. We always feel release as close to the area it came from is the best choice. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes it isn’t. In the latter situation a more suitable habitat is selected.

Each of us who oversees releases can take the opportunity to make this another educational experience if any wildlife enthusiasts happen to be around, which is often the case. Why was the animal in our care, what kind of animal is it, why is it being released here, how did we come by it, what was done for it and many other questions are fielded and answered. It is great to grab any chance to advocate for wildlife, and we do!

There are so many great stories to tell of animals that looked hopeless for release but by some sheer will and determination (probably just hard wired in them) they manage to pass all of the tests. There are those who defy captivity for the entire process. There are those that circle over head more times than seem reasonable, and it is so easy to imagine a “thank you” in there somewhere. And there are those who just bolt out of the box, fly fiercely out of sight without a sign of appreciation, but rather a “I am getting the heck out of here while I can and what took so long to get me back home?!”

I have done many releases. I understand the process. I love setting them free back into the wild to do their animal thing …. And so, I am embarrassed to say, and I will just admit this up front, but in that nano-second of time when the animal and I are both just a little bit airborne in the process, I have that ever fleeting moment of thought that maybe I could just fly on off with them…..aaaah the ability to escape the bonds of gravity if just for a little while…..but, alas, every time I find myself thumping heavy footed to the ground as they soar off without me to what I nevertheless hope is a long life, and many babies, free forever from the need of human interaction.

1 comment:

zopeloti said...

GREAT JOB! Megan. what a thrill it must have beem