HAWK Center operates one of the few 24-7-365 hotlines in the nation. Therefore, we receive calls from all over the country. Can we help someone in California? Absolutely! We want to make sure a connection is made to the closest and most appropriate wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible AND provide instruction on how to deal with the immediate emergency (temporary housing, etc.). We've done this on many occasions.

When the pager went off the other morning before six a.m., I thought it would be from some distant territory. As I gathered the cruicial information, I had to make a quick data assessment. The case: a great horned owl was sitting by the side of the road, probably hit by a car. Ok, next question: Where? The caller was working on a tower strike survey here in Arkansas and was presently on her way to me, owl in the hands of her son while she drove. We made arrangements to meet in Russellville, from where I would pick up the bird and take it to the clinic for evaluation.

She beat me there by a few minutes and was waiting for me when I arrived. Her son was cautiously cradling the towel wrapped great horned owl in his lap. After donning my gloves, I carefully removed the bird from the young man's lap and did a very brief physical exam to see what brought this bird down. A mid-shaft, long bone fracture in the right radius & ulna had a good deal of calcium deposits on it and the bird was very thin. My first instinct was that Dr. Davis would want to euthanize this bird & I made sure the finder understood the possible outcome.

Straight to the clinic I drove with the bird and arrived just a couple of minutes before they opened. Dr. Davis did a physical examination and determined that the wing may be repairable, but our current challenge was the degree of starvation. The next few days will be critical for the bird to gain a little weight so he can live through the anesthesia required to repair his wing. So far, he's lived two days past intake. As always, we'll keep you posted.

As for our pager, we're still on call 24-7-365 to anyone who needs help with wildlife. We'd much rather answer the pager and get help for an animal right away, than to have its suffering prolonged in any way. However, this service does come at a price. We have to pay for the pager service and for long distance telephone calls. It helps us do what we do & don't forget, we're 100% volunteer, so donations don't go in anyone's pocket. All finances are dedicated to our animal care. So, we welcome and truly appreciate your financial support of our efforts.

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