Today we released an Ovenbird that arrived at our facility on one of the first days of fall migration. She had suffered from a broken bone (ulna) in her right wing. She flew perfectly as she left my hand – no sign at all of the prior break.
It is with joy that we watch these releases. In wildlife, the will to live is almost unparalleled.
Although we successfully treat birds with breaks much worse than hers, her release still reminds me of why we aren’t quick to euthanize animals unless we’re absolutely sure that an animal cannot survive and be releasable. Over the years, we’ve learned that many injuries that were historically considered to be non-releasable are actually ones from which an animal can recover completely. If we are in doubt, we give an animal a chance. That’s just one of our basic tenets.
We also don’t decide whether an animal deserves treatment simply because the injury may take a longer period to heal – again, provided that we believe the animal can recover fully and have a normal life.
We understand and respect every rehab center’s right to set their own policies relative to treatment protocols and euthanasia. These are simply ours and they are fundamental to Flint Creek Wildlife. And many birds and mammals that have passed through our doors approve.