Fire / Feu


Le « Maritime Atlantic Wildlife »

Quand on pense aux programmes de réadaptation, on pense aux êtres humains. If faut se détromper car les programmes de réadaptation pour animaux existent aussi. C’est ce qu’explique Pam Novak, directrice du « Maritime Atlantic Wildlife » (MAW), une organisation qui opère du sud-est de la province, tout près de Sackville.

En fait, les animaux sauvages sont appelés à s’adapter à un rythme extraordinairement élevé pour la simple raison que leur environnement change au même rythme. L’être humain, évidemment, est celui qu’il faut pointer du doigt, qui altère ou transforme des lieux sauvages du jour au lendemain. Pour comble, il tire parfois sur des animaux par pur plaisir.

La réadaptation de la faune comprend entre autres la biologie, la médecine vétérinaire et l’histoire naturelle. Pour vous impliquer dans le Maritime Atlantic Wildlife, vous pouvez téléphoner au (506) 364-1902 ou écrire au. Pour en savoir plus sur l’organisation, surfez à l’adresse suivante : http://jis.nstn.ca/maw

maw@
mon.auracom.com

Do You Know Where
Your Moose is?

Pam Novak,
Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation
Maritime Atlantic Wildlife
November 1998

 

i.gif (173 bytes)t's 2 a.m Do you know where your moose is?

moose.jpg (11901 bytes)
(photo: Maritime Atlantic Wildlife)

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Moose Calves at 1 year old
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Sound like a bizarre question? Not if you are a wildlife rehabilitator who has just been given the task of raising a week-old orphaned moose calf. Around the clock feedings, administering medications and cage cleaning are common for anyone involved in rehabilitation.

What is wildlife rehabilitation? It, by definition, means "the treatment and temporary care of injured, diseased and displaced indigenous animals, and the subsequent release of healthy animals to appropriate habitats in the wild." (NWRA/IWRC Wildlife Rehabilitation Minimum Standard Program 5/93). Wildlife rehabilitation draws upon the talents and knowledge of many disciplines, such as biology, veterinary medicine, and natural history, and combines them with a logical, common-sense approach to best deal with each scenario presented.

babymo.jpg (21883 bytes)
(photo: Maritime Atlantic Wildlife)

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4 month old moose being led into it's new outdoor enclosure
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Habitat infringement, the continual discharge of toxic substances into the environment, and human indifference are all examples of what wildlife has to contend with on a daily basis. Wildlife has the ongoing task of learning how to quickly adapt in order to survive the constant unnatural changing of its surroundings. To help understand how traumatic it can be for wildlife, compare the destruction of a forest, or an oil spill in a wetlands during spring, to finding out after awakening that your whole community has catastrophically disappeared. No homes, food, clean water or comprehension of what had just happened. How would you begin to put it all back together? This might sound like the introduction to a science fiction movie for us, but for wildlife this is their reality.

I have been involved with "rehab" for about 9 years now, and it has become part of my everyday life. The territory comes with a lot of disappointment and frustration, as well as great moments of achievement - the feeling of being able to do something to give an animal a second chance. Working hands-on with wildlife is an experience hard to describe. The ever increasing admiration and respect I get from each animal brought in to Maritime Atlantic Wildlife always helps me keep my perspective on how much we affect our environment with our daily activities.

hawk.jpg (19711 bytes)
(photo: Maritime Atlantic Wildlife)

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Red-tail Hawk
Post-release and diving for food
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As I look out my window now, I can see the results of our efforts here at Maritime Atlantic Wildlife. A Red-Tailed Hawk sits perched on top of a spruce tree, part of her daily activity of scanning our open fields and the nearby woods for food. The only scar she bears of her contact with humans is a leg that hangs slightly lower in flight than the other, a leg that she is always trying to tuck up against her body in what appears to be a constant effort to put the past behind her. She is one of our success stories. She was brought to us here at Maritime Atlantic Wildlife a year ago, a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I remember my husband, Barry, when he handed her to me saying, "I don't think she has much longer." It is such a heart wrenching sight to see an animal in this condition, in this case a magnificent bird of prey that normally I watch soaring overhead, often for hours. But in this instance, here she was, one of them from up there, in front of me face down in a box - paralyzed and gasping for air. She was spitting up blood, and losing body temperature quickly so we had to get right to work. She had sustained a gunshot through the back. After initial emergency measures to stabilize her, her wounds were tended to. It took days of treating her for shock and infection to start seeing signs of improvement. About a week later, she started moving her legs.

One morning I was going about my routine of preparing her food, when I went to open up the cage door to find her standing up and staring at me! What a feeling to see that. It didn't take much longer after that to get her back out where she belonged.

She was released on our property since she wasn't found too far away. Prior to release, the hawk was banded by a biologist from the Canadian Wildlife Service to further monitor her. She has decided to honor us here and stay close by. It is truly a thrill when I am able to see her, once again high up in the sky, circling above us.

hawktree.jpg (23692 bytes)
(photo: Maritime Atlantic Wildlife)

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Familiar pose of a Red-tail Hawk

Sitting in a near-by spruce tree
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With the good comes the bad. And believe me, there is a lot of that. A large percentage of what comes into our facility are animals that we can't help. They are too injured or too ill to save. Each is a learning experience. Gaining experience handling, or documenting and testing to find what may have caused their ailment, are all valuable results. I see nothing done in vain when it relates to helping an animal and its habitat. Each individual wild animal brought here is a member of a larger number, a member of a species, an ecosystem. To understand each one and how they were affected helps us to better understand how they fit into the web of life, and as well, how we fit in. After all, what affects them, affects us - there is no escaping that.

Now, about that moose - it was the middle of the night and I had just spotted a porcupine out in the field, where one of the moose calves was. And yes, you guessed it, the moose knew it was there as well. Time to grab the needle nosed pliers and play a game called "pluck the quills out of the nose". The life of a wildlife rehabilitator is never dull!

Maritime Atlantic Wildlife (MAW) was created to meet the ongoing needs of wildlife. Maritime Atlantic Wildlife offers wildlife rehabilitation, education and emergency response services for the region. Established as a not-for-profit, registered Canadian charity, Maritime Atlantic Wildlife operates on 120 acres in Cookville, outside of Sackville, and currently handles between 200-300 animal cases per year. We are a volunteer-based organization, always looking for more help, and constantly building to meet the increasing demand. Contact us if you want to become involved by calling us at (506) 364-1902 or by email at maw@mon.auracom.com. To learn more about Maritime Atlantic Wildlife, check out our website (still under construction) at  http://jis.nstn.ca/maw .