Wildlife and One Boy

Text size: A- A A+

Hi! My name is Jonathan, but everyone calls me Jon.

My mom and I live in Kentucky. Mom is a Wildlife Rehabilitator. She finds or is given animals that are hurt and tries her best to make them well. Her goal is to be able to return them to their natural environment when they are healed.

Over summer break and after school, I am Mom’s helper. Although I am just twelve, I have learned a lot about the animals that live in our area of western Kentucky. We help bats, chipmunks, rabbits, deer, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, and woodchucks, and at one time, we worked with an injured bobcat.

Often these animals are hit by cars or wounded by traps set by hunters. Many states allow people to hunt. I hate that, and when I’m older, I will work to get those laws changed!

Marshall is a three-legged raccoon that must live on our land and be taken care of by us. He lost his leg when a truck hit him, and he can no longer take care of himself in the woods. Early each morning, I bring him fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. He takes his paw and dunks his food in a large water bowl before eating it. Marshall is my favourite raccoon because he is silly.

He uses a smooth large rock that is in his large pen to slide on. He also will come up to me and pull on my pants with his teeth. Most raccoons will defend themselves by biting or hissing, but Marshall has never done either. I must remember that he is a wild animal though, and always pay attention to his behaviour.

I clean out his enclosure each day, and I make him a fresh bed of clean hay. To keep him active, we have given Marshall hard rubber toys to play with. He bats them around, chases them and can even throw some up in the air using his mouth.

Mom has an outbuilding where she nurses the very sick creatures. Some need medicine or bandages, or heating lamps to keep them warm. All the animals are in clean cages. There they rest quietly.

My mother is not a veterinarian. Dr Benton usually visits us twice weekly to give Mom advice, and medications and sometimes, he does surgery on the seriously hurt animals. Three volunteers help us out. They pick up injured animals that are found by others. We can get upwards of six calls a day from people who spot them. The volunteers also help to feed, and clean pens. It would be impossible for Mom to do all the work herself. These kind people are wonderful!

I like all the wildlife except for the bats. For some reason, they seem creepy. Honestly, I am scared of them. Hopefully, as I get older, I will lose this fear.

Each year we invite my class to visit our sanctuary. It is important that kids learn about animals. All animals are different… some can harm you, others not. The bobcat was one that could attack if frightened or hungry, and people should never try to get close to them. Our bobcat was found in a foot trap made of metal. Dr Benton gave him medicine to sleep and operated on his foot. When he awoke, he was in an enclosure where he spent a month healing. It was a special day when he was returned to the wild.

I will always remember when a bald eagle who had broken her wing was finally released. We opened her crate, and after hesitating for a moment, she flew off high into the sky. Mom cried a bit as seeing her free was a beautiful sight.

I’m off to do my chores, and of course, I will spend time with Marshall.

By the way, if you would like to be a Wildlife Rehabilitator someday, you must first attend classes and then take a test to get a license. I certainly plan to do that when I am eighteen.

The famous scientist, Albert Einstein wrote, “Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

Please rate this story from 1 to 10 stars. 10 stars means you really liked it!
Rating: 9.00/10. From 30 votes.
Please wait...
- Total nr. of readings: 895 Copyright © The author [2020] All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.

Enjoyed that? Then you might like these...

Find more stories like this: