Sunday, September 15, 2013

Princess the Raccoon is Given a Second Chance

Many raccoons have come to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary this summer, but there was one that stood out from all the rest. Based on the information given to us by the person who brought it in, this raccoon was about six weeks old. At this age, a healthy raccoon is fully furred, the markings are becoming more distinct, and the raccoon will begin to eat solid food. However, this raccoon, named Princess, was practically hairless, had a belly about the size of a grapefruit, suffered from diarrhea, and rarely stopped crying out. 
Healthy raccoon on the left, Princess is on the right on top of the stuffed animal.

Most of these symptoms were caused by malnutrition. It turned out that the person who found Princess kept her for about a month. Princess is just one example of why it is important to take any injured, ill, or orphaned wildlife to a wildlife sanctuary or licensed rehabilitator where there are people that are trained and licensed to take care of them. Trained rehabbers know how to properly take care of wildlife and raise them in order to prepare them to be released successfully back into the wild.

Malnutrition is not the only challenge for untrained/unlicensed people who keep wildlife. Caring for wildlife can be risky due to the possibility of transmitting diseases, such as rabies and parasites. Plus, there is always the chance that the animal could become imprinted or habituated if it is not around others of its own kind. Also, it is actually illegal to keep wildlife for more than 24 hours. This time is supposed to be spent finding a wildlife sanctuary or rehabilitator to take the animal to.  Although people may think they are helping the injured, orphaned, or ill wildlife that they find, keeping the animals to raise on their own can do more bad than good.

The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is here to not only provide a place for animals that need a second chance, but to also help others help wildlife! If you want to become a wildlife rehabilitator, the best way to start is by volunteering with a local facility or rehabber-- they would appreciate the help! Contact your state Department of Natural Resources wildlife rehabilitation liaison and find out how you can start the work of obtaining your own license as well! The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary offers volunteer opportunities and internships in the wildlife rehabilitation/animal care department. BBWLS also has a training for interested wildlife rehabilitators every March! Watch for the date on our website and help us give critters like Princess a second chance!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pelican versus fishing lure

On Friday, September 6, 2013, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation Warden Darren Kuhn rescued an American White Pelican and brought it in to the Wildlife Sanctuary. Upon a closer look, this beautiful bird could not swim, fly, or eat due to an 8 inch musky lure attached to its foot and wing. The barbs on the lure did not allow the lure to be extracted easily. After administering pain medication, our staff helped this pelican by working to remove the lure as efficiently as possible. For an injured animal, the pain of the injury is only half the battle-- the other half is the stress of being held down by the "human predator", even though we are helping this beautiful bird.
The pelican how it first came in

Kayla working with the pelican

the lure

After removing the lure, the pelican was able to walk, hydrate with some water, and eat a hearty meal of smelt. The pelican will need to be kept in captivity as it heals from its wing injuries, but we hope to return it as soon as possible to our lagoons so the pelican may flock up with others on the way to their winter migratory home.

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary would like to thank the WDNR, the diligent public that noticed this pelican was in need of help, and all of you for your support so we may help thousands of animals become Wild Again!

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Bullet" the Little Raccoon

In June of 2010 six orphaned raccoons, about 5 weeks old, were brought into the Wildlife Sanctuary. The man who brought them in said their mom was shot and killed. All six of the raccoons were examined, rehydrated and sent home, with one of our trained R-PAWS volunteers. A few days later the rehabber brought one of the male raccoons back to the Wildlife Sanctuary. She was concerned about the raccoon because he had a small, very hard mass in his abdomen. The mass was assumed to be hard stool that hadn’t passed yet. Upon examination of the mass, though, it was discovered to be a small bullet. An entrance wound was also found on the raccoon’s back. The little critter was sent to Gentle Vet Animal Hospital in Green Bay. There he was examined by a veterinarian, had an x-ray taken of his abdomen and had surgery to remove the bullet. Luckily for the little guy, the bullet missed all his major organs! The raccoon was sent back home with the rehabber on strict cage rest. He was given a pain medication and an antibiotic for one week following his surgery. After a speedy recovery, he was able to join his siblings again in their large outdoor cage. In mid-September,Bullet and his siblings were released back into the wild. Without the generous donations and large amount of money raised at our special events, like the Walk for Wildlife, Bullet would not have been able to receive the care he needed to be wild again!

The Walk for Wildlife is a very successful fundraising event for the Wildlife Sanctuary. The money raised from Walk for Wildlife goes to help care for injured and orphaned wildlife that is admitted to the Wildlife Sanctuary’s rehabilitation program. The Sanctuary admitted over 5,000 animals in 2012! Please help out the injured and orphaned wildlife of the area by putting on your walking shoes and “WALKING FOR WILDLIFE”!!!!