Aug 26, 2015

Little heron in Hollister

By Deanna Barth

Today, I was forwarded a call about an injured heron in Hollister. Not knowing the exact species, I was curious what I would find as I pulled onto the property. 

My first observation was that the area, like most drought-ridden places in California, was extremely dry. There was a small residence next to a market surrounded by open fields, no water and very few trees. 

To my surprise, from around the corner of the house came a juvenile black-crowned night heron. It was likely that this was not an injured bird, but rather simply too young to fly. But where had it come from? 

The older gentleman who had called was very concerned about his “new friend.” He told me about how he tends to his garden every evening, and about ten days ago this heron appeared, walking along behind him as he tilled the soil with his hoe. 

He soon realized the young bird was eating the worms that were unearthed. Assuming the bird would leave on its own eventually, he enjoyed its company and continued to offer it worms and even set out a tray of water for it. 

After about a week, he became concerned that the bird was not well and began making some phone calls for help. After ten days, he was finally given WES' number.  

I explained to him that the bird did not appear injured, but rather couldn’t fly because it was a juvenile. But having been fed only worms for so long, it was very thin and in a weakened state. We needed to get it to a wildlife rehabilitator.

I was going to herd the bird into a corner of the yard where I could contain it. While it had become used to the presence of his Man-friend, as soon as it saw me approaching it became obviously stressed and difficult to herd it - darting and thrashing and vocalizing. I quickly covered it in a sheet and placed it into a pet carrier.  

I transported the heron to the SPCA for Monterey County wildlife center where staff confirmed that the bird was extremely underweight but not injured.  

Hopefully this beautiful bird will make a complete recovery and be released back to the wild.

UPDATE: 9-2-15

I called SPCA wildlife today for an update on the heron. After a few days on a proper diet, the heron was strong enough to be transported to IBR.

Stay tuned!

Meet Jaco with Mpumalanga Animal Crime Watch

My name is Jaco Klopper, Co-founder of Mpumalanga Animal Crime Watch NPC. We are dedicating all our time to protect and conserve the free roaming wildlife & domestic animals in South Africa. 

Our main goal is to lift as many illegal snares in and around Mpumalanga Province. We have developed programs to assist MACW to help fight this war. Yes we are fighting a war - a war on poachers. 

We are losing our wildlife due to the lack of support of our Government. 

Our current programs include:

 Volunteer Snare Removal Program

We have conducted numerous successful projects via this program. We have built up massive support from the public due to the nature of the work we do. We organize special snare removal projects for this initiative. Our Volunteers range from 8 to 50 years in age.

Student Snare Removal Program

This module was designed to introduce and create awareness among the youth, with the vision to discover and develop students passionate about wildlife. This program was successfully implemented with great success.

Community Service Snare Removal Program

We believe in second chances and created this profile to assist troubled youth and to teach them and to rebuild their broken spirits. Removing snares is a life changing experience. It creates a feeling of worthiness. It teaches respect and a sense of responsibility.

Specialized Snare Removal Program

Called the MACW Bush Warriors, these are specially trained units operating on contract with the goal to protect and conserve our free roaming wildlife. These teams clearing and maintaining properties. They work in conjunction with the MPTA and other specialized organizations.

Search & Rescues

We pride ourselves with a 100% success rate when called upon. Unfortunately most wildlife caught in snares don’t survive due to strangulation or fatal wounds. Domestic animals have a better chance of survival but it depends on the breed and temperament.

Wildlife Services

We are dedicated to build up records. Our immediate focus will be recording all wildlife movements we encounter, total number of animals found dead in snares, animal tracks found and other vital information to be reported to the Mbombela Environmental Committee. We will collect all information by means of photographs, GPS and reports.

We are using numerous channels, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube and google +. We have a Youtube channel that the public can subscribe to in order to follow everything we do. We have a collection of videos. Rescues, snare removals and educational content we share to educate the masses.


We are on the front line and the first defense when it comes to the protection of our heritage. We encounter armed and very dangerous poachers everyday. We are up against syndicates. We have syndicates involved in Animal Trafficking (wild & domestic animals), Syndicates involved in the illegal bush meat trade, Animal body parts, Fish poaching and much more. 

We are making a difference but the syndicates supply the poachers with high-tech equipment and arms. This is our biggest concern. They use the same gear as the rangers and even better equipment. 

We came into contact with a group of poachers and we were forced to hand over all our equipment, cameras, GPS units, and other equipment. 

Due to the red tape it took MACW 9 months to get registered and for the past two and a half years we operated on our own income. We used our own vehicle a Fiat Palio 1200 on roads not suited for a normal car but 4X4's. This did not held us back but made us more determent to do what we do best. 

We would like to thank each and everyone for the support. 


I am proud of what we have done, animals saved, we did this not for the money but the passion. I have not received a salary in the last two and a half years and counting... 

Please edit and add or remove what you think needs to be done. Thank you so much once again. 

Thank you for considering support of our efforts to save the wildlife of South Africa.

Warm regards,


Support MACW's work through their Amazon Wish List, HERE

Check back, we will have a link to make a donation.

Aug 25, 2015

Skunk in a tight spot

This morning we responded to a call about a skunk stuck between a rock and a hard place...

It certainly was!

This lovely plump skunk got stuck half way through an opening under a fence and couldn't wriggle free. Check out the video.

Thank you Elaine for calling about the skunk! Thank you John for helping.
Thank you, Monique for checking him out!

Aug 21, 2015

Sick adult fox rescued

This morning WES received a call about a gray fox that was in distress in a backyard of a home in a community called Riverside Grove - a spectacular place, 17 miles from Highway way, deep in the redwoods. Beautiful.

The party who called about the fox described it as weak and not able to get up - that it was lying flat on the cool stones that lined a wash in their backyard. On approach, she said, it would lift its head for a moment. She noticed some tremors, perhaps something neurological.

When our rescue team arrived, they found the fox in the same spot, but a little more alert - it was sitting up.

Instead of immediately catching the fox, the team made preparations for its capture. 

They prepared a cage for the animal, and, because there was no sign of trauma and they had to presume the animal was suffering from disease, possibly something contagious, they made sure their decontamination supplies were within reach. 

With everything ready, the team donned leather gloves and grabbed a couple of long-handled nets.

Quietly, they staged on either side of the fox. 

With what little energy it had left, it tried to escape capture but was netted fairly easily.

The fox was placed into a carrier and transported over the hill to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley. 


There, at the center, the fox was given a complete exam, but the prognosis was not good from the start. 

The center has been getting a lot of sick foxes from Santa Cruz County suffering from canine distemper virus (CDV). In 2011 there was a spike in distemper cases in the Bay Area. Click HERE to read a news article about it. In 2013, a canine distemper outbreak killed a number of lions and tigers at a wildlife sanctuary in Texas. Click HERE, to read more. A National Geographic article, HERE, explores the serious threat of CDV and the world's remaining wild tigers.  

Sadly, this fox was exhibiting signs of the disease - head and facial tremors, nystagmus, weakness - unable to stand, hyper salivation. It was euthanized to end its suffering.

Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease that can involve  the respiratory, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems. It's spread through through the air, direct contact with an infected animal or its bodily secretions. Canine distemper can cause wild animals to behave abnormally, appearing confused, disoriented, even tame. 

The domestic dog is said to responsible for introducing canine distemper to wild animals and, today, it poses a serious threat to many species. Scientists believe the virus may have contributed to the extinction of the thylacine. It nearly wiped out the black-footed ferret. In 1991, it was responsible for a 20% decline in the lion population of the Serengeti region and recurs among African wild dogs, threatening the species survival.

What you can do to reduce the spread of this horrible disease.

  • Be sure your dog is properly immunized.
  • Do not attract wildlife to gather in groups:
    • Do not feed wildlife.
    • Do not leave pet food where wild animals can access it.
    • Prevent wild mammals access to water features or clean and disinfect daily.
    • Pick up feral cat food and water before dark and sterilize dishes.

Aug 2, 2015

Coyote pup rescue

Yesterday, we were called to help a young coyote that had been observed stumbling around between homes off Branciforte Drive. When we arrived, it was lying on a thicket of poison oak and California blackberry. It was just a pup.

Check out the video of it being rescued:

The pup was transported to Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley where it received an exam and found to be very underweight and dehydrated. Additional tests revealed the pup was suffering from a heavy load of internal parasites. 

With luck, the pup will get stronger and either join a pack of orphans for release back to the wild or be reunited with its pack.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE: 8-10-15

An update from Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley: 

The female coyote pups was loaded with several species of coccidia and also had roundworms and hookworms, which debilitated her and caused emaciation and weakness. At intake we stabilized with SQ fluids and let her rest over night.

Over the course of three days we treated her with vaccinations and several anti-parasitic medications.

As of today her fecal is clean, and she is eating and starting to become way more active. She is still thin, so we are working on putting some meat on her bones.