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March 31, 2015 > Ohlone Humane Society: Every life counts

Ohlone Humane Society: Every life counts

By David Anderson Ð R.V.T Manager, OHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Wildlife Rehabilitation can be extremely rewarding and often times sad. You invest an extraordinary amount of time and effort into getting each animal back to where they belong Òwild and free.Ó Even the rewarding moments can be bittersweet because each and every one of your success stories takes a little piece of your heart with them each and every time.

I worry about them all. ÒDid we teach them all the necessary skills to survive out there?Ó ÒHow are they doing out there in the wild after we have given them that second chance?Ó ÒAre they thriving?Ó ÒDid our efforts make any difference in their lives or chances of seeing another day?Ó These are the questions that run through my mind over and over again.

We start off thinking Òwow, look what I can do for this animal and in the end we realize it isnÕt about what we did for them, it is about what they do for us.Ó They teach us something about ourselves that maybe we never realized before. They allow us to become a part of a bigger picture. They teach us to live in the moment and appreciate everything we have at that moment in time. As humans, we become so wrapped up in worrying about the future or baggage from the past that prevents us from just simply ÒLIVINGÓ and appreciating all the things we have around us.

In 2007, I was called to assist in the rescue of an injured Peregrine Falcon by Lila Travis, director of Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue. We successfully caught the Peregrine Falcon (a California Fully Protected Species); the bird spent seven weeks in rehabilitation at our facility and was released back to the wild at the exact location from which he was rescued. More often than not, you donÕt know how a particular animal is doing after being released back to the wild, but in this case we did because he had been banded in the nest in the Ohlone Wilderness.

Approximately seven years later, I received a call from a volunteer with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO) that thought I might be interested in know that this particular bird was not only doing well enough to survive and fend for himself, but was also the proud father of three peregrine falcon chicks that he and his mate were rearing on Mount Diablo. Every time I begin to doubt what we do makes any sort of a difference, I remember this story which renews my passion and gives me the strength to continue caring for and rehabilitating our wildlife. Every life counts, and each life saved could possibly equal generations to come.

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