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“Indy” The Western Grebe

Our Holidays Are Never Dull.

After our experience with Barney the Barred Owl you would think all would go quietly on the Ranch.  Well it did until July 4th, our Country’s Independence Day.

Pat had just started a tour of the Ranch when the telephone rang.  A lady who had read the newspaper stories about Barney had this unknown type of bird sitting on the driveway at her neighbor’s house and it hadn’t moved for a long time but it seemed alert.  She asked for help.

Pat called in George and our helper Aurora from the outside work and they hurried into town to see if the bird could be helped and this is what they found:

image003

This little Western Grebe was hurt and was frying on the driveway.  George had Aurora approach the Grebe from the front while he came in from the back and he quickly caught it after a few short hops into the grass and the Grebe was put into a padded box.

Being a major holiday we could find no one to help the grebe-- who was bleeding and very stressed.  Aurora’s family was gathering for the holiday and expecting her, and without being able to reach any veterinarian even on the emergency phone numbers, George took the Grebe he nicknamed “Indy”, because of the special nature of the day, and had Aurora hold the Grebe in the box while he drove it to Garrison Minnesota and the care and attention of Dr. Debbie Eskedahl and the “Wild and Free” wildlife rehabilitation program.  Dr. Deb was out of reach of her cell phone at a parade, but a technician was at the hospital feeding the animals and agreed to wait for Indy.  En route Dr. Debi called and said she would hurry back from the parade to take care of Indy. 

Our team dropped Indy off and it was clear he had trauma wounds and lacerations; he was severely dehydrated and might have been shot. Dr. Deb sent our team home.

That night Dr. Deb called and confirmed the diagnosis.  Indy was getting stitched up and fixed up.  Also Dr. Deb said Grebe’s can’t be kept for long so as soon as he was ready for release he needed to be put back into the wetlands.

Dr, Deb called the next day to tell us how Indy was doing.  She asked if we would like to release Indy back into our lake, and we were very happy.  She said he would be ready Monday morning.

Pat picked Indy up from the Wild & Free Program and brought him back to the Ranch.

It was decided that because Aurora got into a lot of trouble with her mother over missing a part of the July 4th family celebration and because Aurora is handicapped [has only one eye and is 20/150 in the other], she would get the honors of releasing Indy.

Indy came back to us in a cardboard transfer box.  One thing about Grebes—they eat lots of minnows.  His box was full of poop that smelled like dead fish—oooooo did it smell.

image006    Pat & Aurora carefully took Indy out    image006

Indy let go a long poop stream and almost hit Aurora’s foot.

Aurora walked Indy into the lake, and released him but not until he totally splashed her

image010   Indy tried to bite her and splash her   image012

Then Indy quickly cruised away into the reeds,

image014

 

About 20 feet away he turned, raised the crown on the top of his head and stared with those beady red eyes directly at George, And another wild creature was returned to freedom by our Ranch

 

image015

Indy found freedom and was returned to the wild on July 8, 2002 onto Lake Belle Taine in Nevis

What a cool year it had been!

 


 

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