Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital

Fellow Mortals is more than a place. It is a living philosophy based on the belief that encouraging compassion in humans toward all life brings out the finest aspects of our humanity. Fellow Mortals provides excellent medical care to injured and orphaned wild animals entrusted to the hospital by the public. Fellow Mortals continues to advance treatment for the most critically injured and compromised animals admitted for care, demonstrated by a continued high rate of recovery and release back to the wild. Fellow Mortals also attempts to limit the number of animals admitted for care each year by offering public education to prevent unnecessary injury and orphaning, thereby reducing the total n...
Oct 14, 2013

One Squirrel's Story

Injured Cottontail Rabbit at admit
Injured Cottontail Rabbit at admit

All you have to do is look at the faces of the interns right before releasing the hawks to freedom to see how 'success' is most easily measured in wildlife rehabilitation.  We are excited when the day comes that an animal who came to us starving or injured can go home again, and know that it is 'good bye,' but once in awhile, we get to say 'hello' again...

Buddy came into our lives over three years ago, after she was found injured and starving with an injury to her mouth and jaw.  At the hospital on her arrival on 3/22/09, x-rays revealed that a b.b. had lodged in the little squirrel's jaw and caused her teeth to become misaligned and maloccluded, making it impossible for her to eat.  Another had just missed her spine.

Buddy spent nearly two years in rehabilitation.  The pellet’s proximity to one eye made it impossible to remove, but regular teeth clipping gradually brought Buddy's teeth into alignment and she grew plump and beautiful once she was able to feed herself.  In the fall of 2011, we opened the door to her cage and Buddy left captivity to find her place in the wild.  Since Fellow Mortals has fox squirrels on site and we hoped to monitor her condition, we gave her a nest box  near to the hospital in a lone oak.

We didn’t see Buddy  for several weeks after release and of course we worried—then one day in November of 2011 we were excited to see Buddy in the courtyard helping herself to the treats we put out daily for the birds, squirrels and rabbits.

Buddy lived in the 'wilds' of Fellow Mortals for over two years, until the injury that initially brought her to us brought her back into care.  We will always be grateful that she had the opportunity to live a life of her own choosing, and feel so privileged that—when she was given the chance to leave, she chose to spend the rest of her life with us.  She was never tame, never allowed us to approach too closely, yet we shared our lives.  

The rare experience of being able to follow our patients after release occurs every so often, and gives us hope that many of the animals we never see again are also living long, happy lives in the wild.

Thank you for your gifts which provide the place that makes these stories possible.

New friends
New friends
Robin release
Robin release
Buddy Girl, Fellow Mortals Mascot
Buddy Girl, Fellow Mortals Mascot
Immature Great horned owl
Immature Great horned owl
Release Day
Release Day

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Jul 15, 2013

Summertime at Fellow Mortals

Red-tailed Hawks on the day of Release
Red-tailed Hawks on the day of Release

It's July 14, and we're at the peak of our busy season!  Every room and cage is filled, and the outside habitats have a waiting list for the many patients growing up or recovering inside the hospital.

Nearly 500 animals are currently in care, including dozens of orphaned cottontails, songbirds, ground and tree squirrels, ducks and geese, hawks and owls, woodchucks and more...

Every day that Fellow Mortals is able to provide care for injured and orphaned wildlife--and accept new patients from the public--is a cause for celebration, Thanks to You!

Even as we continue hand-feeding the tinest newborn mammals, or newly-hatched birds, we are also busy releasing those who have 'graduated' from critical and nursery care to being able to survive in the wild.  Just today, we released flying, grey and 13-lined squirrels and robins, grackles, house sparrows and a woodpecker.

One very special release just a few days ago was that of two red-tailed hawks.  Both had come to us with fractured wings, but one in particular was in very critical condition, its 'fingers' (the phalanges of the wing) smashed past surgical repair.  It was also an older injury; infection had set in and we wondered if the bird would lose the tip of its wing. Despite the odds, we decided to do what we could to battle the infection and keep the bird quiet to see if healing was possible. Not only did the bird not lose the wing, but he flew beautifully on release!

Every one of the animals you help has a special story.  Each one wants to live and, more than that, be free. Thank you for all the Happy Endings you make possible.

Day old Eastern Cottontail rabbit
Day old Eastern Cottontail rabbit
Foster Mama Mallard
Foster Mama Mallard 'Snow' with orphaned duckling
Orphaned brothers--Grey Squirrels
Orphaned brothers--Grey Squirrels
Nestling White-breasted Nuthatch
Nestling White-breasted Nuthatch
Infant 13-lined Ground Squirrel
Infant 13-lined Ground Squirrel

Links:

Apr 16, 2013

One Wild Bird's Story

Merganser when it was admitted to Fellow Mortals
Merganser when it was admitted to Fellow Mortals

Every individual animal that comes to Fellow Mortals has a 'cycle of healing.'  This is one month in the life of a Red-breasted Merganser.

The merganser was found on March 5 in the road.  He was nearly 25 percent underweight, and had just been hit by a car.  X-rays taken back at the hospital show a skull fracture and fractured leg.  He was in very critical condition.

The next few days, the merganser was tube-fed (a tube is put down the animal's throat and nourishment provided to the stomach when an animal cannot feed itself).  A few days later, the merganser ate a live minnow for the first time!  The skull fracture had not affected his ability to see and procure food.

While the merganser's leg was healing, he could not be in the water, and so we had to give daily small baths to keep his feathers clean, resplinting the leg after each bath.  After 14 days, the fracture had stabilized (callused) and he was able to stand for the first time.  The splint was removed!

Recovery came quickly after the splint came off and the merganser had access to water, and fish and bathing 24 hours a day.

6 weeks later, the merganser is healed and acclimated to the outdoor temperature, and will soon be released.

Every animal has its own 'cycle of care' from critical to release.  This is one story.

Thank you--for making happy endings possible...

X-ray of merganser showing fracture of skull
X-ray of merganser showing fracture of skull
The splint is off--time for a bath!
The splint is off--time for a bath!
Standing again
Standing again
Getting ready for release
Getting ready for release

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