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
The splint is off--time for a bath!
Getting ready for release