By Vern and Lori Gieger
Wildlife Mexico 911
Like many others we find ourselves needing to cut back on the services we offer. We often joke and say we’re retired, but we are busier than ever, the only thing that retired was the paycheck. With cost increasing for gas, food, medical care etc. required for the wildlife we rescue, we find ourselves needing to make changes. In the past we gladly made house calls to remove/relocate wildlife such as opossums etc. from private homes free of charge. We will no longer be able to do this.
Wild animals try to avoid contact with pets and humans so often when we arrived to remove an animal it was long gone. However, regarding orphaned or injured wildlife, if you would like to bring them to us, we will continue to accept them at this time. If we are unavailable or the animal is in need of medical attention, please take it to Dr. José (Pepe) Magaña’s Clinic near Telecable in Riberas or Drs. Ladron’s Clinic, next to the Animal Shelter. We will gladly pick up the animal from them and pay for the medical expenses. We will also continue with our educational programs as we feel they are vital to promote positive change.
As most know we are 100% volunteer, and although we are licensed by the Mexican Federal Government and are the only licensed UMA in the Lake Chapala area that can legally take possession of wildlife, we receive no funding from them. For clarification, unlike some other groups and individuals we no longer receive any financial support from Lakeside Friends of the Animals.
Spring, our busiest time of year, is also the most rewarding. On a bright note, in addition to approx. 25 baby opossums, we were also able to save a young Harris hawk which fell from his nest, although he was infested with parasites; fortunately he sustained no injuries in the fall. This once weak little bird is now robust and has begun to eat on his own. No doubt he will be releasable, and will grace our skies with his presence.
One of our most challenging rescues this spring was a juvenile cocamixtle, sometimes called a ring tail cat due to their cat like appearance and distinct black and white ringed tail. However, they are actually the smallest member of the raccoon family. Cocamixtles may have the face of angels but they are little devils. The little guy got himself tangled in some discarded fencing which had cut into his flesh; frighten and in obvious pain, he was all teeth and toenails. Once his injuries are healed he will be released, to resume his nightly prowls as he hunts for rats and mice.
Our spring wildlife education/ awareness program was a huge success; with the support and sponsorship Club de Atlas (soccer team) and the endorsement of Profepa it was bigger and better than we could have imagined. We would like to thank Jim Wilson and Jorge Valencia for all their hard work in putting it all together. The posters are now being distributed throughout Mexico. These unique posters suitable for framing make great gifts for animal lovers and soccer fans and are available at Dr. José Magaña’s office in Riberas.