May 9, 2014

Second chance for a turkey

On May 1st, Sheldon and Aida Hicks called WES to report a wild turkey with an arrow through it, traveling in a rafter, or group of turkeys, on their property in Felton. It was first spotted by neighbors about a week before.

A month earlier, another "skewered" turkey was reported to WES. This one was seen off Redwood Lodge Road, some distance away. A month prior to that, on April 1st, there'd been another sighting of a turkey with an arrow through it.

Image of the turkey seen near Redwood Lodge Road. This one was hit from behind.

WES' founder, Rebecca Dmytryk, took the Hick's call and discussed the possibilities for capture, explaining how a large cage can be used to entrap the target animal. 

Sheldon was up for the task. In no time, he'd constructed a large cage out of heavy-gauge fencing material, and left both ends open. As instructed, he placed a handful of grain to entice the animal inside. 

It wasn't long before Sheldon called back to say the injured turkey was inside the enclosure eating the grain. 

Plans were made to attempt a capture in the next few days, but then the turkey disappeared. It wasn't seen for days.

Then, almost a week later, it returned, and Sheldon was ready. 

The pen was now enclosed on both ends with an attached door that could be trigger closed from afar. 

When the turkey was inside, Sheldon pulled it shut, trapping the injured animal.

Rebecca and volunteer First Responder, Maureen, collected the turkey and were able to remove the arrow on-scene. It was then transported to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley for treatment.

The bird was given the rest of the day to recuperate from the stress of capture and transport. 

The next day it was anesthetized and evaluated for its injuries. 

Medical staff found the bird was in excellent shape, considering, and results from blood work revealed no signs of infection. 

It was ready to be returned to the wild! 

Before release, WES used a livestock marker to color a spot on the bird's right leg to be able to identify the individual over the next few weeks. The waxy color wears off quickly.

Check out the great video.

A huge THANK YOU! to the Hicks family for helping capture the turkey and to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley for providing prompt and expert medical care.