If you have lived in Florida long enough, you have likely seen Sandhill Cranes. Very tall, grey, long legged birds, with a long beak and a red head with that trumpeting call that can be heard from over a mile away. Often times they can be seen pecking at the ground, looking for grubs or mole crickets. This unlucky Sandhill “hit the bullseye” and pecked it’s beak directly through a discarded rubber washer and got it lodged on it’s beak and was having a very difficult time eating. Birds that can fly are extremely difficult to catch, but one of our long-time rescuers, Steph, made it look easy. Snaring birds is a very difficult thing to do and only experienced rescuers should attempt it. Our favorite rescues at WCV are the “catch and releases”. Enjoy the video and please consider making a donation to WCV at https://wildlifecenterofvenice.org/donate/.
And if you see that piece of litter laying around, take a minute to pick it up and dispose of it properly.
Watch as Gary releases three rehabilitated brown pelicans back into the intercoastal.
Gary has been with the Wildlife Center for almost 2 years and has worked with most of the animals that come into the Center. It all started with a baby rabbit he found. A call to The Center brought long-time volunteer Beverly to his and the rabbit’s aid. The rest, as they say, is history.
Thursday and Friday are the two days that Gary spends on-site feeding, cleaning and assisting the rehabbers as needed. But his contributions don’t stop there – he also spends time taking rescue calls. Like a number of our rescuers, he carries nets and transport containers in his vehicle, always ready for that call about an animal in distress – whether it is another baby bunny, a pelican, coyote, bobcat, or even a 6-foot snake! This year so far, he has logged 274 rescues/transports.
When asked what advice he would give to others on how to help, he said “be aware”. The best rescue is the one we don’t have to do. Be aware of that tortoise or turtle in or by the side of the road, of the bird that may be frightened and fly across the road, of the squirrel that is just too fixated on his destination to notice a car bearing down on him. Be aware of the wildlife and give them time and space to be able to continue their lives and also to call for help in any situation where there “may” be a need.
Gary also wanted to make the point that The Center can always use volunteers and donations of both money and supplies.
The most difficult part of this volunteer “job” for Gary is getting that rescue call and arriving as quickly as possible only to find that the animal is already past whatever help we could give, or learning that, even though the patient reached the Center, it was too badly injured to survive.
On the opposite side of the situation, the two things that are favorites include a “good” rescue, reaching the animal, collecting, confining and transporting successfully and with no further injury to the animal. The best, of course, is the recovery, rehabilitation and eventual release back into the wild.
Watch Gary experience the best part of the job when he releases three rehabilitated pelicans.