Some of our patients have been through such horrendous trauma that we are unsure if they will make it through their first night at the clinic. From gunshot wounds to car collisions to fishhooks and rat poison, it’s a real miracle that some of these patients survive.
These are the stories we never forget. These are the patients that we cheer a little longer for when they’ve made it to the end and are ready to be released back to the wild.
Claudia Benfield, one of Chintimini’s guest bloggers and Friday night shift leader, writes about her experience with a very special Barred Owl:
“I had an eventful night working with wildlife. We admitted a Barred Owl that had been hit not once, but twice by a car. I am still astounded by that fact.
Hit not once, but twice by a car.
I was expecting to get a patient that had no hope but yet once again, the wildlife laughed at me. When he was brought in, they told me he was quite squirmy. They were right! I took him out of the box and he just about flew away from me! I was really glad to see how active he was. I was thinking that maybe he was going to be in shock.
We wrapped him up in a towel to secure him but he still was very feisty. I felt his wings and found no fractures or open wounds. The only thing I found was a few drops of blood on his beak. Next, we put him in a cage to rest, gave him a few mice and hoped for the best. The owl was mighty lucky to have been hit twice and lived to tell the tale. It is fortunate he was rescued right away by good Samaritans and brought to our rehabilitation center.”
Initially, the Barred Owl was mildly dehydrated but overall appeared in good health despite being struck twice. He was given electrolytes with B-vitamins, an anti-parasitic medication to treat his parasite load, and lots of nutritious food. Within a few days he’d put on some decent weight and was able to fly with perfection. By the fifth day he was given a clean bill of health and was ready to be released!