May 21, 2012

Personal note from Rebecca:

I have been rescuing wildlife for over thirty years and it never gets easier to witness situations like this.
I was contacted about a severely injured gull in Alameda. Both its legs are entangled in fishing line and bound together, but it can fly. 
Flighted birds are some of the most difficult to rescue. 
It's not just that they can fly, but injured animals are typically more wary and reluctant to 'bait in'. If pursued by well-meaning people trying to help, animals become harder to approach and may even disperse from an area altogether if they are continuously harassed. 

These types of rescues require special training, skills, and experience. These types of rescues can take time - days, even weeks, to accomplish.
We were first notified of this gull one week ago. The call was transferred to us by another Bay Area rescue group. I quickly sent out requests to our network of volunteer responders with little luck in finding someone to help. 
I feel for the person who reported the gull. She has been trying desperately to find help for the bird - calling everywhere she can think of. Nearly every day she visits the location where the bird frequents, watches out for it. Helpless and frustrated, she watches this animal suffer, day in and day out, and no one coming to help. 
Reliant solely on volunteers, we find ourselves, once again, unable to respond as we'd like to and as we should be able to. 
This animal's needless suffering continues from a lack of local available resources. The solution is an on-call 24/7 wildlife paramedic. 
For the last few months, we have been focused on raising funds for a Bay Area Wildlife Ambulance.
We know we can make a difference with the Bay Area Wildlife Ambulance This animal is a perfect example of why it is so desperately needed.
We have a new way to give - through ChipIn. Click HERE, or the link below. Help us get this wildlife ambulance up and running, once and for all!

Here is an account by someone who watched a goose, tangled in line, go months without help. Finally, she called WildRescue and we were able to respond quickly. This further illustrates the need for a Bay Area Wildlife Ambulance.
By CynthiaApril 02, 2012 
I discovered two injured Mallard ducks and one Canada Goose.  In October 2011, I started to call a local animal rescue organization to seek help for these injured birds but ended up making calls to multiple animal and wildlife rescue organizations and got nothing but excuses as to why they cannot come out to rescue these birds. Instead, all the help they provided me was to refer me to another animal or wildlife rescue organization.
Finally on February 28, 2012, I was given the telephone number of WildRescue in Moss Landing. I made contact with Rebecca Dmytryk. One of their responders, Deanna, met with me on March 2nd at the lagoon and with patience she was able to capture the injured Canada goose. Deanna had to make a nearly 1 and ½ hour one-way drive to Sunnyvale to make this rescue. Unfortunately, after Deanna took the injured bird to a wildlife hospital, the bird had to be euthanized because of the seriousness of the long-term injury. If only I had been able to secure help back in October, this Canada goose, and perhaps the two Mallard ducks, would be alive today.
Nobody could say yes, we will come out and rescue these birds.  Only WildRescue who is far away told me yes they would absolutely come out to help. Here is a sampling of some of the advice that I got:
·      “Let nature take its course.”
·      Just throw a towel over the goose, put it in a box, take to a veterinarian in San Jose (they gave me an address).”
·      “We do not rescue ducks or geese.  We only rescue predator birds like owls or hawks.”
·      “If it bothers you to see the injured goose, then stop walking over there!  Just do not go to the lagoon anymore.”
·      “We do not know who can help you.  There are only two animal control officers.”
·      “We do not rescue – we just educate people.  Sorry, we cannot help you.  We do not have equipment to get the goose.”
·      “We only have volunteers and there isn’t anybody available.  Also we do not rescue injured ducks or geese.  Let nature takes its course or you will have to take it to a veterinarian yourself.”
·      “It is showing up on my screen that there is no body of water in that area that belongs to the city.  It is privately owned.  You will need to contact the owner.”
·      “Call the police department to rescue the ducks and goose.  They will come out when you call.”
·      “If the birds are limping, we do not rescue them.  It is probably a minor injury and they will heal on their own.”
Photo from Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley.
Guess what?  It turned out that the Canada goose had fishing line wrapped tightly around her upper leg. Fishing line is transparent and you cannot see it wrapped around the goose’s leg. So this is not a minor injury after all. It caused much suffering for at least 5 months for this goose and eventually had to be euthanized. As I write, there are other ducks that are limping. Perhaps they too have fishing line wrapped around their legs. We should not assume that a limping bird has a minor injury. These creatures end up suffering and losing their lives because of humans trashing up the environment. 
Thank you Rebecca for caring, even if it is a bird, you believe we have a moral obligation to help an animal in distress. I wish I knew about your organization, WildRescue, back in October 2011. Also, thank you Deanna for driving the long distance to rescue the Canada goose. You were professional, patient, and showed compassion. 

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