Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Thank you Mother Nature

Last week - while walking - I saw this little rabbit on the road. I slowed down so that he wouldn't hop away while I got out the camera...but he allowed me to get closer and closer - finally I realized that something was wrong with the poor little guy and he couldn't hop away. So I took a quick picture and walked on.

Of course it worried me terribly. I hate to see an animal suffer but didn't know what to do about this guy. I wondered if it was sick (I saw no blood) or if it had been hit by a car or even dropped from the sky by a hawk! All the way on my walk I wondered what I should do - should I try to snap it's neck somehow to put it out of it's misery? and for heavens sake - how would I do that? The thought made me ill but I was determined to do something. I worried that it had a broken leg and would lie there suffering or would get picked at by dogs or birds - yikes.

I walked back and was steeling myself the whole way there. Luckily for me - when I got to it...it was already dead. It was stretched out on it's side..not breathing...not moving. I nudged it with my foot and it didn't move. To be honest - I was very grateful as I really had no idea of what I should do with the poor little thing. I had thought of a shovel and a blow to the head. I had thought of getting my car and rolling over it. I had thought (gulp) of a step on the head. As you can tell, I was getting a bit stressed over this. Thank you Mother Nature for taking care of the problem.

Of course I got to thinking about animals and our responsibility to them as humans. It's easy with pets - we are supposed to care for them, and they are dependent on us. Our responsibilities are clear and well defined. With a wild animal - there are no guidelines aside from leave them as alone as possible, be a responsible human, etc etc.

We once had a raccoon in our yard that was acting very strangely - it was during the day and it was walking around, then taking a nap in the yard - way way odd behavior. This was at a time when rabies was rampant in the raccoon population. I called an old neighbor who came over and shot it (our town was much more rural 20 years ago) but then it was up to me to bury it and clean up the area. I dug a hole and using the shovel - put the raccoon body way deep in the ground, covered it with a metal grate and put back about a ton of dirt. Then - to be safe as rabies is so infectious - I BLEACHED my yard where ever the animal had been. Hey...rabies can be carried by saliva and I wanted no part of the rabies treatment.

So - those are my stories about my interaction with a wild raccoon and a wild rabbit - both ill or hurt and needing some kind of human interaction.

What would you have done??? I'm really interested......

"Happy" Animal Wednesday? Sometimes it's not so easy is it?







16 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a sad encounter. I dont' know what I would do in that situation. Probably let nature take its course. I have never had an encounter with a rabid animal. Hopefully never will. I have found dead possums in our garden. I imagine that my dog killed them. Not Luna a previous dog.

sukipoet said...

I have always wondered the same thing re: injured animals. I never quite know what to do not that I have come upon very many if any. However, 217 County Road had a very bad mouse infestation one year despite my cats. I had set any number of have-a-heart traps, brought the little guys across the road quite a distance and let them out, and they raced home before me!

Finally I started setting those cheese bated snap traps and caught one dead. OK So I set another one and the poor mouse just got injured and was walking around crying, yes crying. And I caused it's pain and injury. I had that debate, how to kill it. Got a bucket of water and dropped him in and never set a spring trap again or any trap in fact.

As for possible rabies I would call the animal people whoever they are, each town has them. They come and take care of the rabid animal. My bro used to do that work. Worst thing to do is go near the animal as they may attack since they arent rational.

Annie said...

Mim, I know that is is not an easy answer. I have not had to make a choice like this and I hope I don't. xoxo

Robin said...

I steeled myself to read this - because I am a real *wuss* when it comes to injured animals. I MUST get involved....that's just me...it's heartbreaking yes, but I just can't ignore it.

Once, enroute a New Years Party - wearing all white, I saw a dog run out in front of me....the car in front hit him - and drove off.... the dog, got up, bleeding profusily and headed for a nearby park.... I and my friend followed.
We found the dog....who faced us growling....my friend advised me to stop and just call Animal Control,,,but I knew on New Years, no one would come.... long story...I managed to pick the dog up and my friend drove us to a 24 hour emergency hospital. The doggie survived... some internal injuries and a broken leg - but nothing life-threatening. He had a name tag - so after leaving the dog at the hospital (I said I would cover the costs if the *owners* would not) we drove to their home. They were all at home, *celebrating* and didn't even know he had gone outside... they DID pay for the medical bills.

It's different in the *country*...Mother Nature rules there...and often there is nothing one can do....I am glad you weren't left with making such an awful decision.... but those things just tear me up emotionally.... (I even pick snails up off of the sidewalk so they won't get crushed.... see, I am a *wuss*!)

Love,

♥ Robin ♥

Lynn said...

What a dilemia...I thought you might pick it up and take it to an animal rescue center...not sure what I would have done in all honesty I might have just left it there and felt bad.

Katiejane said...

I guess I would have tried to move it to a quieter location and let nature take its course. Ususlly it's better to leave wildlife alone.
I accidentally ran over a young possum in my yard with the riding mower last week. Didn't kill it but I skinned his back and the top of his head bloody. He wobbled around looking dazed and confused for a bit but I was NOT going to try to pick this thing up! They can be mean and bite! It looked at me drunkenly each time I passed with the mower and I felt so guilty. Finally it staggered under my giant hostas next to my front porch and I didn't see it any more. Don't know if it died or not. I'm sorry, Mr. Possum, but you are on your own, here.

AtelierBrigitte said...

That is a big dilemma - luckily Mother Nature took care of it. What I would do? I think it depends on what seems to be wrong with the animal. I once picked up a bird, who was hit by a car in front of me. The bird was only dizzy and I could let it go after an hour.

Teri C said...

I agree to let nature take its course. HOwever, my DH came across a young deer that had just been hit by a car and was trying to lift his head. He turned around to come back and help (not sure what he was going to do) but it was already dead. I just about cried when he told me the story so I am no help at all.

HAW, on a lighter note.

Baino said...

Its hard to be cruel to be kind. I get rabbits in the same condition but usually because mixemetosis has been introduced and they're on the way out anyway. Birds too but usually a day in a quiet dark place and most revive. No rabies in Australia thank goodnes. Oh the last animal I euthanased and buried was a 15 hand horse, he's still up in my back paddock! Needed a bulldozer.

~Babs said...

We once rescued a pidgeon with a broken wing at the salon, and took it to the vet in the same shopping center. He repaired the wing,,and refused to accept payment, even though we'd all agreed to share the cost.
As for in the wild,I know that I'd have been afraid to approach it, and left it to nature.So much that happens in the wilderness is sad,,, it's easy to understand how you felt.

studio lolo said...

I have a couple of stories myself but I won't take up the space here. I will say that I could not "finish the job" at all. I would just move him to a softer place to die or get eaten or whatever. I'd say a little bunny prayer and move along, but that's me. Maybe its mom was watching. Who knows.
The nice thing is you're an animal lover and this ate you up for your entire walk. You cared enough about that little souls outcome.
God, Mother Nature, the Universe, they have their own agenda.

Sweet dreams little buns. The world cares.♥

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I am forever trying to rescue hurt birds. Some die and some make it. I am sure I wouldnt be able to knock them on the head tho, Any animal for that matter.

kj said...

mim, your heart is pure gold....

PAK ART said...

I wouldn't be able to dispatch it myself but i would probably get my husband to do it. He knows how to take care of things humanely because he grew up on a farm and hunts too so has had experience in those sorts of things. I'm glad nature took care of it for you. And I'm glad to hear you care so much. The world would be a better place if people cared for each other and animals as much as you do.

Snowbrush said...

I wouldn't expect a rabbit to survive much stress, so I would have probably killed him, probably by bashing his head against the pavement.

...I don't understand it when people had rather see a creature--human or otherwise--remain in pain and terror in the face of certain death than to put it out of its misery. It seems to me that making a very great effort to rise to the occasion when faced with such problems.

Lori ann said...

I say what lo said. Intervene to a point. it's terribly difficult, to let nature take it's course. I would have been relieved like you. Isn't it amazing how much you see when you walk?