Wednesday, March 13, 2013

First Red-wing Blackbird males of the spring arrived at Nature Center feeders yesterday. We are still seeing otter track around the buildings and sightings in the lagoons along East Shore Drive. Many Bald Eagles flying in and out of the Wildlife Sanctuary daily.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Deer Oh Deer!

Here in Animal Care at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, we have some very special residents the community has come to know well--- our White-Tail Deer! Currently, we have 4 ladies that have come to us with many different stories to become the friendly ambassadors we know today.

“Laura” is the friendliest of the 4 does. She came to WLS in 2006 as a fawn. Our goal with her, as with all wildlife, was to be released back into the wild. As she developed, we observed she had problems with her hind legs—she had an injury that caused her to be unsteady and not able to run as well as she should. The decision was made that she would not be successful out in the wild where running and protecting with hooves is essential to a white-tail’s survival. She has done well with WLS, maneuvering on the rocky areas to greet people coming into the Deer Habitat!

In 2009, Animal Care received a call that someone had a fawn and needed to get her into a rehab program. Much to our surprise, the little fawn we were expecting ended up being “Little LuLu”—a yearling doe! She is the tallest of our little herd and still leery of people. Unfortunately, being raised illegally by humans the first year of her life has left her unable to survive on her own, but also not as trusting to people. She comes up to the staff and public, but is always a few steps behind. Lu is a great example that when a young fawn is found, the best thing to do is to call a wildlife rehabber—Mom may be near watching the youngster. Natural mothers always do the best job caring for young and keeping them in the wild where they belong.

In 2009, WLS was able to give homes to 2 survivors that could not be released back into the wild. “Dani” is our smallest doe. She was found very young with another youngster next to her and an adult doe nearby—the adult doe was killed by a car. The other fawn, what we considered a sibling to Dani, grew strong, thriving in rehab care. Dani did not do very well—she was always quite weak and did not grow as quickly, unfortunately limiting her ability for release.

Our other 2009 fawn is appropriately named “Lucky”—and due to the quick thinking of some wildlife lovers, she ended up with a lucky outcome! Lucky was found in the Northwoods after a bear that was carrying her for a meal dropped her. Members of the public, Gerry and Shirley, were able to find Lucky and bring her to WLS. Lucky had a severe neck injury and was in a very critical state for 2 months, needing physical therapy and special feedings to help her hold her head up and stand once again. As we worked with Lucky, she became habituated on humans which made her an unsuccessful candidate for release, but a great fit for our little herd!

You can meet our deer daily in the Deer Habitat by the Woodland Building. They live with sandhill cranes and turkeys and greet everyone that comes in! You may get to know them by feeding them corn from the Observation Building or deer pellets from dispensers in the Deer Habitat area. Meeting our “Dear Deer” is a great time and a memorable experience!  Hope to see you soon!