Monday, September 6, 2010

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 09/06/2010

Last week someone asked us if Liberty Wildlife had long tentacles. We got a call from Arizona Game and Fish asking if we had access to a rescue/transport person in Page, Arizona (for those out-of-staters it is in the far northern part of the state near the Grand Canyon). The problem was that an officer from the Page Police Department had spotted a golden eagle on the ground at a Circle K gas station. The officer radioed Game and Fish to get some help. That’s when we got involved. If they had found the eagle the day before we could have had our rescue/transport volunteer pick it up on the way back to Liberty to deliver another golden eagle (that’s a story for another day) from the northwestern part of the state. But, it wasn’t the day before, and we had to come up with a plan.

Our usual pilots were either out of town, or less thrilled about flying into the area at that time of day…something to do with winds that blow up off of the red rocks, cliffs, and aeronautical things I just accept as a given. We put out calls to our northern friends, and were hoping that The Peregrine Fund might have someone in the area as it isn’t that far from the Condor facility at the Vermilion Cliffs. In the process the Flagstaff office for Game and Fish was called and as luck would have it Margaret in the office mentioned that her husband delivered Pepsi Cola in that area and was in Page at that very time. A call to him solved the first leg of the transport.

In the meantime, the police officer managed to wrangle the poor eagle into a box and head to the station with a victim instead of a criminal. Our Pepsi driver, whose name I haven’t found out at the time of this writing, drove his truck to the police station and transferred the eagle to the front seat of the truck to the Game and Fish office in Flagstaff. Score one for Pepsi!

The last leg of the trip was easier. We sent an ace rescue/transport volunteer, Dave, to Flagstaff to meet the Pepsi driver. The transfer to the third transport vehicle saw the broken eagle winging its way (ouch), not on its own power, to our facility in Scottsdale.

The unfortunate eagle was probably hit by a car. It suffered an obvious broken wing and untold internal injuries. The method of treatment at this point was to let it settle in (quiet, dark and warm). If it survives this trauma then radiographs will be taken and treatment protocol assigned. Thanks to all of you who were involved from telephone call makers to drivers to medical services staff and volunteers. The eagle is in the best hands possible. The jury is still out on the outcome, but one thing is for sure….relays work very well because Liberty Wildlife does indeed have very long tentacles!

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