On The Road Again

Better lucky than good.  Or, as in my case, neither of those apply, but you keep plugging along anyway.  It has been another busy week at Peace River Wildlife Center.  We are still admitting lots of baby birds and mammals, with the requisite juggling of neonates between our exhausted home care volunteers.  We have also had some cases with interesting injuries admitted.


Late one afternoon we received a young raccoon.  It was quite dehydrated and weak after having been found all alone on a fire truck.  A fire truck?  How long had it been there?  How did it get there?  No one seems to know.  It was given to one of our best home care volunteers, Judy Liccini, who happens to be a Fort Myers pediatrician and excels with the babies who need special care.


A few days later another baby raccoon was admitted—this time a neonate, less than a week old.  This baby was definitely going to need the tender ministrations of Dr. Judy.  But Judy already had too many other raccoons, and in three different age groups.  So to transfer this little nugget into her care, we needed to transfer one of her other charges elsewhere.


The fire truck baby was doing better, so I picked him up in Fort Myers and took him to our home care volunteer in Arcadia, Pam Wright.  Dr. Pam is a veterinarian at Animal Arc of Arcadia and helps PRWC by not only serving as a drop off point for wildlife in distress in Desoto County, but she does home care for our baby mammals also.  She already had a few raccoons, but hers were the approximate same age and size as the new one.  It is vital when raising any wild animal, but especially an intelligent species like raccoons, to have more than one baby together so they identify with each other and not their human “parent.”


While I was in Arcadia to drop off the raccoon, a call came in that someone had seen a fawn get hit by a car and he was bringing it to the Animal Arc office.  We were able to transfer the fawn into a kennel and get it in the back of my Chevy Volt.  If that sounds easy—it wasn’t.  There was a fair amount of calculus, physics and folding of space and time to get a sizable fawn in a giant kennel into a space that small.  The car gets almost 200 mpg and can hold a fair amount of cargo, but this was straining the seams a tad.  Luckily, it is bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside.


The fawn had a lot of scrapes and bruises on her left side from where she had apparently bounced off of the side of a trailer and skidded across the highway.  She has some broken ribs and a dislocated knee or stifle for the “horse people.”  Those darn people with their horses are worse than the French; they have a different word for everything.  This adorable little female fawn is resting comfortably in a pen at PRWC, off exhibit with all of the other rehabilitating animals that we hope to one day release.


The fawn will likely be transferred to another facility soon due to our lack of space to rehab larger mammals.  That of course will entail another road trip.  This time I’ll probably load her into my truck.  The gas mileage isn’t quite as spectacular, but it will take considerably fewer maths and magics to get her in there.

by– Robin Jenkins, DVM

Fawn under anesthesia for exam, x-rays and splint application
Fawn under anesthesia for exam, x-rays and splint application