PGFD is on Fire!
What a wonderful community we live in! Peace River Wildlife Center has people from all over the area that care for and about wildlife and are constantly involved in rescuing injured and orphaned animals. But what happens when one of those rescuers gets in over her head? Literally?
Mrs. Dee Parsons found herself in just such a predicament recently. She was walking her dog late one afternoon when she noticed a tiny bird had fallen from a nest over ten feet up in a tree. She knew she couldn’t reach the nest to put the baby back by herself and PRWC was closed for the evening. This resourceful feisty little lady was not about to give up on that bird. She drove over the nearest fire rescue station and asked them for help.
Luckily Lieutenant Rob Logan and Fire Medic Tony Laurenti from Punta Gorda Fire Station 2 were available and sympathetic. They drove over to Mrs. Parsons’ neighborhood and got the baby bird back up in the nest. Now that is some serious customer service!
Mrs. Parsons now knows what to do when she finds a baby bird or mammal:
Call PRWC immediately for instructions. We will ask pertinent questions to determine if the baby needs to be “rescued” or if it should be left alone for its mother to care for it. Sometimes the animals we think we are helping are just fine where they are.
If there is no answer when you call PRWC, leave a message on the machine. Often we are there but busy with other patients and will get back to you within a short period of time.
If it is after hours, place the baby in a warm, dry, quiet, dark place overnight. While it is true that most baby birds and mammals eat frequently, it is worse to feed them the wrong thing than nothing at all for a few hours. And birds do not feed their babies from dusk to dawn. So even if it is not yet completely dark outside, you can mimic “roosting time” by placing the baby in a dark location and it will go to sleep until morning.
Thanks to Mrs. Parsons, Lt. Logan and Fire Medic Laurenti for doing the right thing for this baby bird. Mrs. Parsons and her dog have been monitoring the site where they found the baby and he has not fallen back out of his nest. He probably got blown out by one of the fierce storms we have had in the area recently.
Rescuing random birds is not the extent of Punta Gorda Fire Department’s involvement with PRWC. They recently went up against the Punta Gorda Police Department in a fierce basketball game as a fundraiser for PRWC. Bella, the great horned owl, was there hooting for The Force and Luna, the leucistic screech owl, was cheering on the winning Axe Men. The game raised over $1,600 for PRWC and everyone had a great time. Thanks to everyone who played and attended the game.
by-Robin Jenkins, DVM