CALL 1-855-WILD-HELP (1-855-945-3435)

Thanksgiving Calls a Plenty!

So much has happened over the Thanksgiving holiday here at the Wildlife Hotline.  We have added a few new specialists to our service, and recieved some VERY strange calls.  Here are some of the highlights:

11/17/11 – Mountain lion sighted outside of elementary school in Platte County, Missouri.  We received a call from the county sheriff’s office worried about a mountain lion outside of the school.  After speaking with the staff, we determined that the animal was acting perfectly normal, and staying away from people from a very safe distance.  Our specialists did some general education work and all is well with the school kids and the mountain lion.  No additional sightings or problems have been reported.

We don’t get calls about mountain lions very often, so this was a rare call.  If you spot a mountain lion in your area, try to catch it on camera and report it to your local Conservation office.  They track how many we have in an area and how well they are surviving.

11/23/11 – We received a call from a resident in Desloge, Missouri who found a litter of puppies in the deep woods while deer hunting the day before. The finder is a man who is very well versed in wild animals, an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He was very convincing in saying that the pups were not domestic dogs, but possibly coyotes or wolves. When found, one puppy was yelping and whining, and the other two had long since passed away. The hunters waited with the puppy, quietly, for hours to see if a Mom would return, and they never saw her. Eventually they brought the lone surviving pup back home with them.

After really looking at him they decided they had better contact someone who can determine what this pup is. Coyotes normally have their pups in May and June each year. It would be completely unheard of for a coyote pup to be born in November. Wolves are not native to the state of Missouri, so we’re sure that he is not a wolf pup either.  The only possibility of a wolf would be if someone illegally owned one nearby as a pet, and it got out and had puppies – not very likely.  It is possible that a coyote and a dog mated, resulting in a coy-dog, or a dogote.  🙂  After seeing the puppy in person, we determined that it is most likely a domestic dog.  It doesn’t look like, act like, or quite fit a coyote whatsoever.  We are running a DNA test to be sure, but we’re confident that he’s a regular dog.  We don’t normally assist with domestic dogs, but in this case, his litter mates had already died, so he needed someone to step in.  We did so.  Right now the little one is only about 4 weeks old, but he is in a foster home with one of our specialists and will get his vaccinations, and neutered when he is old enough.  At that point we will either return it to the finders, if they want him, or put him up for adoption in the St. Louis area.  He’s a cutie!  Just not quite WILD!

11/24/11 – Thanksgiving Day, 9:30am, call from Platte County Sheriff’s office dispatch center.  Caller says “I’m so sorry to call you guys on Thanksgiving, but you’re going to laugh at me”  We are used to getting humourous calls sometimes, so that’s okay with us!  Caller states “We received a call in to 911 this morning to report a kangaroo on the loose in Platte City.  We thought the 911 caller might be pulling a prank or drunk, but now we have officers on the scene and it really is a kangaroo, and it is stuck in a nursing home’s fence.  What do we do with it?”  Now we get a lot of strange calls at the hotline, but never have we had a kangaroo!  We’re wildlife rehabbers, but none of us specialize in anything non-native.  A couple of our specialists got together and started making phone calls to people’s homes -ON THANKSGIVING- to see if we could find some help for this critter.  We ended up reaching Gabriel Spring Farms and Monkey Island Rescue, both with exotic animal licenses, and both willing to help with the kangaroo situation, on Thanksgiving!  We also put a call into the Dickerson Park Zoo to see if they might be able to take it long-term because these two rescues were probably only going to be able to care for it temporarily.  Before we know it, we had a call back from the lead veterinarian at Kansas City Zoo (who was at home of course!) and he was willing to go out to help as well!  It just goes to show that no matter when you call the hotline, even on a holiday, you WILL get a live person to take your call, and no matter what bizarre thing you are calling about, we WILL find someone to help, even if we can’t.  In about 30 minutes, our specialists managed to find THREE properly licensed people who could and would assist this animal on Thanksgiving Day!  Not bad!  The kangaroo turned out to be a wallaby, which is about half the size of a kangaroo, owned by a private resident about two blocks away from the nursing home.  The Kansas City Zoo is holding the wallaby until the legal issues get sorted out and the resident gets the correct permit to keep the animal as a pet.  Here’s a video of the wallaby on Kansas City’s channel 5 news station.  

All in a day’s work at the Wildlife Hotline!  We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and is safe and warm tonight.  You know how to reach us!  (636) 492 – 1610

Comments are closed.