A white ibis and an osprey were among the 52 animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Other admissions include a red-tailed hawk, two fledgling anhingas, three sandwich terns, a fox squirrel, a peninsula cooter, and a Florida box turtle.
A resident of King’s Lake in East Naples noticed a large white bird flailing along the roadside in her community. She called the wildlife hospital late in the evening seeking assistance for the injured bird. After an in-depth conversation, wildlife hospital staff determined the bird was a white ibis that was injured after being hit by a car.
The woman was willing to try to rescue the bird and bring it to the Conservancy for treatment, but was apprehensive.
She succeeded and brought the bird to the hospital in less than 30 minutes. When the ibis arrived, it was alert but unable to stand. The legs were not broken, which led staff to believe it suffered neurological damage.
Wildlife hospital staff gave the ibis pain medication, an anti-inflammatory and electrolytes; then placed it in an animal intensive care unit to rest.
Staff planned to perform radiographs once the bird had time to rest, but the following morning, the ibis was standing and extremely active. Staff cared for the ibis for three more days before releasing it back in the area where it was found.
The woman who rescued the ibis was amazing; she was in her late 70s and obviously hesitant about trying to capture a wounded wild bird; but she took up the challenge and saved a life.
So many animals wouldn’t be rescued and brought to our facility for treatment, if it weren’t for the caring members of the public who take the time to help wildlife in distress. Thank you.
Marco Police to the rescue
We received another call about an osprey in distress on Marco Island right after the ibis phone call. The osprey had been trapped on a narrow fourth floor condo balcony for two days. After several failed attempts to reach property managers, we called the Marco Island Police Department to see if they could gain access to the building.
Thirty minutes later, a police officer called and said they had rescued the bird and had him at the police department. They just needed someone to take the bird to von Arx Wildlife Hospital.
Wildlife Hospital staff made several calls trying to locate a volunteer to transport the osprey form Marco to Naples. Those contacts were either unavailable or busy with other volunteer efforts.
At that point, we called the man who had originally reported the situation. He was willing to go to the police station and transport the osprey to the Conservancy. The bird was still in good health. It was only slightly dehydrated and had some abrasions on its talons.
After spending one day in the hospital, staff moved the osprey to an outside recovery enclosure where it immediately began to fly. After three days of care, we released the osprey back on Marco Island.
Two Eastern cottontails, two Northern mockingbirds, a striped mud turtle, two field mice and a mourning dove were all released this past week.
Learn how you can help us continue to take care of the wildlife — and help the Conservancy of Southwest Florida protect our water, land and future. Donations can be mailed to our new address: 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples, FL 34102. Joanna Fitzgeraldis director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples. Call 239-262-2273 or visit the website: www.conservancy.org