Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Power-hungry Washington's soft spot for wounded wildlife
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Dec 19, 2013

Washington is synonymous with power, majestic buildings and ruthless ambition. But it also has a cuddly side, nurturing orphaned baby squirrels and lame turtles.

City Wildlife, which opened a year ago, is the US capital's first clinic to tend to injured wildlife.

Director Alicia DeMay, a former veterinary assistant, explained that the privately funded facility can look after 1,500 animals a year, and at times has up to 300 patients in house at one time.

"She came in cold and wet," DeMay says, standing in front of a cage with a female baby squirrel, rescued after it fell out of a tree.

This city of political hawks and doves is also brimming with wildlife. Sometimes, squirrels, deer, seagulls, opossums and even bears can even venture out of the woods into urban settings, surprising locals.

Washington is "surrounded by an ecosystem that has a marsh, the Potomac basin, the Potomac River, and there's quite a bit of wooded areas along the river," said Raymond Noll of the Washington Humane Society.

"Throughout the city there are large wooded tracks having indigenous wildlife," he added.

The local chapter of the largest US animal protection society patrols night and day and responds for free to calls about wild animals in distress.

One staffer, Cindy Velasquez, has just set out for a house where a squirrel scampered down a chimney into a private home and got trapped in a room.

Velasquez wore gloves and took 10 minutes to catch the poor scared animal, which she then released outdoors.

She said the day before, a bat had gotten its wings stuck to a frigid wall. Once freed, it flew away, she said.

A hummingbird fed every 15 minutes

But if a wild animal is hurt, it is taken to City Wildlife in northwest Washington.

The clinic is open every day and boasts incubators, a pharmacy, two rooms full of cages and an examination room where animals are first left for 30 minutes to relax, said DeMay.

They are fed and cared for, for days or even months, before being released back into their original habitat.

One recent resident: a baby hummingbird hardly bigger than a coin, which had been attacked by a cat. It had to be fed every 15 minutes, DeMay said. Another was an osprey.

But bigger animals, like deer, or ones that might carry rabies, such as raccoons, are put down.

As of mid-December, the clinic had 20 residents. They included a seagull with a bad wing and being treated with antibiotics, a raven that had been struck by a car, several turtles with injured legs or shells, and some orphaned squirrels.

In one cage, two opossums fight playfully. They came in as babies weighing just 60 grams (two ounces) each.

"Something happened to the mom," said biologist Abby Hehmeyer, one of three staffers at the clinic.

The cages are often covered with black sheets and talking is kept to a minimum, in a soft voice if necessary, so as to minimize contact between the critters and their caretakers, said DeMay.

On one cage there is a note of warning. "MUST WEAR GLOVES, squirrel will attack when you open enclosure," it reads.

And the visitors do not get names.

"We want them to be mean. They are wild animals, they are not pets," said DeMay.


Related Links
Darwin Today At

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Climate change will endanger caribou habitat
Calgary, Canada (SPX) Dec 19, 2013
Reindeer, from Northern Europe or Asia, are often thought of as a domesticated animal, one that may pull Santa's sled. Caribou, similar in appearance but living in the wilderness of North America, are thought of as conducting an untamed and adventurous life. However, new research published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that there are more similarities about these two animal ... read more

Companies Donate Satellite Capacity And Ground Infrastructure Services To Philippines

Philippines launches $8.17 bn Haiyan rebuilding plan

Stunned Kerry says US won't abandon typhoon-hit Philippines

UN supplies seeds for typhoon-hit Philippine farmers

Oracle to buy cloud firm for $1.5 bn

Uranium (IV) found to be mobile in a natural wetland

Leaner Fourier transforms

Russia rebuilding lost radar coverage

Saving Fiji's coral reefs linked to forest conservation upstream

Drought and climate change: An uncertain future?

Saving the Great Plains water supply

Climate change puts 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity

New actors in the Arctic ecosystem: Atlantic amphipods are now reproducing in Arctic waters

Arctic sea ice volume up from record low

Arctic storms that churn seas and melt ice more common than thought

East Antarctica is sliding sideways

Oregano Oil May Help Sunflower Seeds Keep Longer

Chinese firm buys historic French chateau, vineyard

New Zealand economy rebounds after drought

Haiyan to hit Philippine coconut oil exports: industry official

New volcanic island off Japan could be permanent, scientists say

'World is behind you', Ban tells Philippine typhoon survivors

Italy volcano eruption dies down, airport re-opens

Post-Sandy, Long Island barrier systems appear surprisingly sound

Tribal war fears in South Sudan as rival army units clash

Muslims protest French operations in C. Africa

Germany, Britain help with logistics in C. Africa: French minister

South Sudan manhunt on for ex-vice president after 'attempted coup'

Prismatic social network follows interests

Neanderthal genome shows early human interbreeding, inbreeding

Fossil throat bone suggests Neanderthals had power of speech

Sunlight adaptation of Neanderthal genome found in 65 percent of modern East Asians

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement