Monday, September 10, 2007

Where's Dave, Director of HSUS NRRO?

Dave, Director of the Northern Regional Office of the Humane Society, got requests from the AHAA artists for more photos. Here's the latest information from Dave. Thank you, Dave!! for all you do for the animals!!

The Week in Review from Dave.

"Thank you for some feedback and follow-up concerning my previous postings. In response to your requests I am including a "top view" of a western painted turtle.

This week included several humane live-trapping issues, as the third photo showing the live-trap and KONG dog toy was part of a KONG company web-page article I drafted to teach wildlife trappers that they need to include a "worry toy" like a KONG inside the trap so that the captured dog, cat or raccoon will worry/chew on the worry toy rather than the wire cage. This greatly reduces the potential for facial, paw or tooth injuries to trapped animals. I also drove to Red Lodge, MT and trained a half dozen Beartooth Humane Alliance and Beartooth Nature Center volunteers on the tricks of the trade to humanely catch feral cats in volume. My simple tricks of buried bait, sight attractors, fear removers, worry toys and saturation trap deployment generally help local groups both improve the efficiency and humaneness of their trapping outreach. These two excellent groups will be trapping dozens of rural feral cat populations for a Spay Neuter Clinic in late September.

Life Trap with a Kong Toy.

The next day I got a call from a local animal shelter telling me they had a wild ferret! I asked what color it was and they said Black as coal with a white chin patch. I immediately told them it was a wild MINK, and that I would stop by to pick it up for release. Indeed it was a quite beautiful and quite upset subadult female mink. I suspect she was a larger juvenile mink , as she was in excellent coat, young teeth and no signs of litter rearing this spring. I mapped out her capture site, and plotted a upstream drainage release site so that she would be within 5-6 miles of the capture site on the Yellowstone river.

The rest of the week was consumed preparing for a potential wild horse darting trip and today's trip to Glacier Park area where I will be doing an animal shelter inspection for a County Health Department and then visiting the Blackfeet reservation to see if I can help them with their ongoing community animal care and control improvements. With my daughters involved in school and sports... this will be the last road trip that Scrat and Squeakers will have to endure. I have built a large final squirrel cage for them that has some ten feet long branches and a climbing gymnasium in it. When I get back mid-week they will go into this much larger pen to strengthen their climbing muscles and to both condition and fatten them in preparation for their release within a month. I have now fed them well over 100 meals with the first feeding being just one cubic centimeter of warm electrolyte to this morning's 04:00 feeding of Nine cc's formula each. I will miss them bounding into my lap for groceries...but will feel really great seeing them up in their birth tree barking at the big new world beneath their feet."

Updated photo of Scrat and Squeakers - but even this one is a few days old and not showing their continued growth. Both squirrels are gaining weight are partially weaned and are pretty much looking like a target soft release date of October 1st. We will, of course, be monitoring them and providing supplementary feeding them throughout the winter.

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