I have been forced to enact a couple of ‘wildlife rescues’ this week, albeit very small ones . . .
On Tuesday, during my usual opening-up-the-office-routine (doing the important stuff like turning on the coffee machine and the air-conditioners) I saw, from the corner of my eye, something scuttle quickly across the carpet near my desk. My first thought was (as always) ‘Spider!’—those suckers can really move—but, of course, by the time I looked again it had vanished.
The sight of a spider in the office (or, in this case the mere possibility of one) would normally induce me to ‘down tools’ immediately and find someone to remove it (usually the boss—she’s weird—she actually likes spiders) but as I was on my own I had no choice but to go and find it myself (and, let’s face it, here was no earthly way I was going to be sitting at that desk without making sure I knew exactly what was moving around underneath it!)
Well it wasn’t a spider, but a lizard (Phew!) A little water-dragon like the one pictured below.
I think he was only a baby, and very cute, but he still glared at me quite crossly when I attempted to ‘shoo’ him out the front door. He was having none of it. It took me a full twenty minutes of chasing him up and down hallways, crawling under desks (banging my head twice) and several fits of giggles (from me, not him) before I eventually managed to drop a plastic container over him and halt him in his tracks. I released him in the park across the street with a stern warning to ‘stay out of my office’. He turned to give me one final angry glare before vanishing into the undergrowth . . . .
And then there was the little bird. Sigh. Poor little bird. . .
About two weeks ago I noticed a little injured bird in my front garden. He had a broken wing but I couldn’t get anywhere near him, so decided it was probably best to let nature take its course. A couple of days later I realised he had taken up residence in the bushes near my letterbox. In spite of his broken wing he seemed quite perky so I decided to leave him be. I honestly thought he would probably die of natural causes, but I left him some seed and a little tub of water and hoped for the best. A week later he was still there but then, overnight, he vanished. I thought he must finally have succumbed to his injuries . . . or been eaten by the neighbour’s cat . . .
Until yesterday. Hearing a huge ruckus outside my living room window I went out to find three huge magpies attacking the same little bird. Two little rosellas were also screaming at the top of their lungs and darting in and out in front of the magpies, seemingly trying to distract them, but to no avail. I, of course, ran out like a madwoman, waving my arms about and shouting, also to no avail. I had to actually take off my shoe and whack one of the magpies with it before the others retreated. The little bird then staggered over to me and hid behind my foot (who said they had no brains?) The magpies weren’t giving up their prize with out a fight though and returned with a vengeance every time my back was turned. It took a lot more flailing about with my shoe—and Mabel, Maude and Molly all howling insults from behind the screen door—before I managed to get the little bird safely away.
Long story short (sorry about that)—’little bird’ is now in a cage (actually it’s a metal dog crate because that’s all I had) up high on a table on my back verandah (not only do I have to protect him from murderous magpies, but I noticed Mabel and Maude were showing a rather ‘unhealthy’ interest in him too . . . ) So, bless, he now not only has the broken wing but also several nasty puncture wounds to contend with. In spite of this, he lived through the night, and shouted angrily at me this morning when I went to check on him (there’s gratitude for you) so perhaps he is still not ready to die just yet . . . Today I am going to hand him over to someone who will know how to properly look after him. Now that he is ‘safe’ I don’t want to, in my ignorance, do him any more damage . . .
And, speaking of ignorance, I am thinking I should probably also brush up on my ‘rescue’ skills, or at least do a bit of reading on the best way to handle such situations should they happen again. I am sure there are less stressful (for the animals and for me) ways of going about these things.
But, until then, I might try and confine any wildlife rescues to something a wee bit less fraught . . . like watching them on the telly . . .