Saturday, April 28, 2012

High on the "things that IRK me" list...

I usually restrict the posts on this site to video clips of HawkTalk, but I can't let this one slide past without comment and hoping that you will also let this facility know what you think about how their non-flighted raptors are being treated. This YouTube clip was posted on AWARE's FaceBook page!/pages/Atlanta-Wild-Animal-Rescue-Effort-AWARE/158382607515683 , where I also found a photo of one very young and very wet Barred owl sitting in the lap of a 'volunteer', being blown dry with a hair dryer! If you click on the 'YouTube' version, you will see AWARE's inane comments back to me when I asked why this non-flighted bird was being treated in such a manner. Imagine how horribly frustrating it must be for this once proud and magnificient animal now being forced to perform like a wounded circus monkey just to get a meal. This makes me SICK.


At April 29, 2012 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Bad Egg said...

Monteen, for those of us not in the know of the proper rehab behaviors, can you elaborate a little bit on why this stuff is wrong? I definitely trust your expertise, just would like to better understand the issue.

At May 1, 2012 at 12:35 AM , Blogger Monteen said...

It's wrong because you shouldn't force a bird to 'produce' outside it's capacity, to struggle to the glove, just to get a meal. It's rather like taking a persons crutches away, then making them walk to the table if they wish to have dinner. Her comment back to me on the Youtube version was unbelievable..."we trade food, medical care and a place to live for good behavior". Looks more like torture to me.

At May 1, 2012 at 8:24 PM , Blogger Bad Egg said...

Thanks for the clarification, Monteen. I've learned a lot from your site, will continue learning as much as I can.

At May 1, 2012 at 9:21 PM , Blogger Monteen said...

Thank you, Bad Egg...and I will continue sharing my experiences and knowledge.

At May 4, 2012 at 7:48 AM , Blogger Linda said...

Just to clarify, this hawk has an enclosure that is 45' long and 20' high. There is a tree in the middle which goes to the top. There are also many perches in his enclosure. Koko is able to get to the top of the enclosure and enjoys being up there and surveying the world from there. He does this be flying from limb to limb. He flies further on his own than he was being asked to fly in the video. However, he is still not flighted enough to be released. Because his caregivers can not climb to the top of the enclosure to get him for medical checks and other needs, he is being trained to fly to the glove. This is no further flight than he does on his own.

At May 7, 2012 at 5:01 PM , Blogger Monteen said...

In calling and complaining about me to other people for my holding your staff accountable for screwing up, it has been suggested more than once to contact me directly, yet you decide to cruise my blog and leave a comment in your lame attempt to explain away this video clip that the volunteer thought was cool enough to post to YouTube and FaceBook? Oh, OK. Here goes. You asked for it.

OK, so you are having trouble catching up the bird. Who wouldn’t in an enclosure that’s 20 feet high x 45 feet wide? Hells bells…it’s large enough for its own bloody zip code and a family of giraffes!

Why in the world are you giving a non-flighted bird that much real estate? And OBVIOUSLY a bird will go to the highest perch. It's what they do. OK, say you are wanting the bird to be nice and comfy…alight, I’ll buy that. But, enclosures that large usually (USUALLY) aren't built around trees and have perches on pulleys on each end so the bird can be landlocked in order to catch it up.

HOWEVER, if you have to starve it down to get it down, that little problem could be easily corrected by employing a modicum of common sense and installing it in a SMALLER CHAMBER! Common sense seems to be something in short supply at AWARE. I have had a non-flighted bird for 15 years but I don't have to starve it down because I have it in a chamber that is appropriate to her disability.

You sat on a Barred owlet for EIGHT days before you transferred to me. I immediately knew something was wrong because his appetite was off and could only eat a fraction of it's normal meal. And why was that? Because some MORON(s) fed the owlet casting material on more than one occassion before it was ready to properly digest it.

The person who answered the phone out there who had fed it admittedly knows NOTHING about raptors but said it was eating well while he was there. I wondered aloud since she had ZERO experience with raptors, how did she know if he was 'eating well'? *crickets chirping*

It took me 5x longer to feed that baby than was necessary (like I have nothing else to do but stand around puppet feeding him three bites of food at the time) and I had to handle that baby several times a day to weigh it to make sure we were going forward not backward. I went through that hassle for a week before he finally produced TWO SEPERATE CASTINGS overnight.

The Facebook photo of the wet owlet (the same one I now am raising?)in someone's lap being blasted with the hairdryer, is but ANOTHER example of you people not having a bloody clue how to go about resolving husbandry issues.

You have a wet baby? How about rather than turning the hair dryer on him, put him in a box with a heat lamp. It’s not brain surgery, but apparently it’s too hard for AWARE to figure out.

There is NO ONE at AWARE who has the proper experience to deal with raptors. You are a former banker with NO wildlife experience and NO rehabilitation experience, and a Director who (although is a DVM) has NO wildlife experience and NO rehabilitation experience and guess who suffers for it in the end?

Michael Ellis is spinning in his grave at the state of that place these days and I no longer in good conscience refer anyone to AWARE.

I'm going to give you a little advice and you can do with it what you will; stop your intake, close the doors, send everyone and I mean EVERYONE away. Gather a new Board together that has a clue, get some money together, put an advert in the national wildlife trade publications and hire a Director who has the proper boots on the ground experience and then try it again and don't take everything in. After all, when you accept everything, you end up not doing any of it very well and bad news travels fast.

At June 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent advice. AWARE needs to get a clue about the birds under their care or close up shop.


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