Today, in honor of Earth Day, I volunteered to help at the rehab center, and it was wonderful!! I’m going to sleep well tonight because I raked a mountain of leaves. Let’s see how many of the animals I can remember…
- Three adorable baby raccoons who live in a cage outside the infirmary. They are amazing… their paws are velvety soft and their eyes so beautiful and sparkly. They kept wanting to touch my straw hat.
- Three baby pileated woodpeckers, who came to be there when their tree got cut down.
- Four baby owls, about 4 weeks old and so cool! They were just kind of standing around in their container, statuelike.
- Two baby possums, so very cute!
- A hawk which came in while I was there… he had an infected injury on his right wing, poor baby. Hopefully he’ll get better quickly.
- Baby crows, doves and woodpeckers.
- Baby turkeys and chickens.
- Peacocks, including a beautiful male who was showing off for two of the hens.
- A single, lonely french guinea hen.
- A whole bunch of chickens, ducks and geese… some permanent residents, some just while recuperating.
- A handi-capable goat who I was told is very, very sweet. She walks around on her front knees instead of her feet and her bottom lip is all messed up, curled sideways up and over her top lip.
- A mother cat with two kittens.
- Two roomfuls of exotic parrots – at least four macaws, some umbrella cockatoos, african grey parrots, a gaufin cockatoo and some others. Most came there because they were abused or rescued. They are permanent residents.
- Two full-grown male raccoons who fight all the time. Not nearly as friendly as the babies, though they wanted to see my hat, too.
- Two crows who will be released soon.
- A great horned owl who got hit by a motorcycle. He only has one eye but he’s nearly recovered and will be released on the property of someone they know, who hopefully will be able to see it from time to time.
- Ten turtles, including one gopher tortoise who had been kept as a pet but given to the center after the “owner” found out it was illegal to have one.
And I learned something today. Ducks lose their waterproofing if they don’t get wet for a while (a month or so) and they can actually drown without their waterproofing, because they sink.
In all, a very fine day. I don’t want to see a rake again for a while, though! At least until my blisters heal. I do want to go back and learn how to help with all the other chores – they’re doing good work there and I would like to support them. Volunteers help feed the animals, collect eggs, clean out their cages and I’m sure some other stuff. I guess I’ll find out!