The Animal Lover’s Guide to Saving Wildlife

watchforwildlifeWhen driving in a car, it’s not often that the possibility of an animal crossing the road crosses your mind. Maybe you have a lot on your mind, running late, or are listening to your favorite song, it’s understandable. But what’s not understandable is completely ignoring the fact that there is an animal (or animals) in your designated path ahead and you do absolutely nothing to ensure their safety.

Today I witnessed what seemed to be an easily preventable injury of a goose. Yet, the driver who hit the goose was not distracted, and did not make any attempt to slow down. It’s understandable that the location of the event plays a part in your ability to stop in order to prevent injury upon other humans, for example, but this was no excuse for that manner.

As we know, animals and humans alike and sentient beings with the ability to feel. The only problem is that there are still people today who don’t have empathy for them or reject the possibility in their mind. And regardless of whether you like geese or not, don’t be speciesist and deny an animal their ability to feel based on your own ignorance.

But let’s face it, ignorance or not, there are people out there who just don’t care. And it’s not only apparent in animal rights, but with everything.

What has happened to us as inhabitants of this planet? Not caring doesn’t seem to be taking us in the right direction.

With that being said, please slow down for animals on the road and encourage others to do so, as well! It’s only a matter of seconds that can prevent an animal from injury and sadly even death by the simple act of compassion and consideration for their life.

And if you do happen to witness an unfortunate injury of an animal, please don’t hesitate to call your local wildlife center and ask them what they can do to help! This really can make all the difference. Don’t count on someone else to take the initiation because I can guarantee they won’t.

In fact, I did just this today after I dreadfully witnessed a goose get run over by a very ignorant driver. It was heart wrenching, to say the least. The goose could not walk nor fly, and was bleeding badly on it’s right leg. Luckily it made it’s way to the side of the road before it lay down in pain. It was truly a heartbreaking event and the last thing I could do was leave him/her there to suffer!

I did the most logical thing possible in a situation like this, I called my local wildlife rehabilitation center and they thankfully helped the poor creature back to their haven for special care.  Hopefully the wounds can be taken care of and released back into the wild when it is cured.

But he most heartrending part was not the injury itself, but the way the other geese interacted with the injury of their friend, family member, or loved on. They bowed their heads in sorrow as they approached the goose, panting and shaking its whole body in indescribable fear and pain on the side of the road.

It’s clear that empathy does exist in these animals; we are not the only ones able to feel pain, fear, or sorrow. Knowing you helped an animal who could have been seriously hurt without your help, it honestly an amazing feeling. Having the power to change their life in a positive way only influences me further.

But it’s also horrifying to know that all this distress to this innocent animal who was simply crossing the road occurred simply because of apathy. Let alone, if I was not there to witness this tragedy, the goose may have not gotten help at all.

So please don’t forget that all native wild animals are protected by state and federal laws. You can help!

If you do encounter an injured animal tat needs rehabilitation or antibiotics, here are some steps you can take. “Injured animals can be brought to the Center. Handling should be kept to a minimum and a cardboard box with a towel or an animal carrier (from a cat or dog) is good for transporting them. Remember they’re injured and scared and see you as a predator. Be sure to avoid getting bit or scratched by using a towel or heavy leather gloves when moving the animal to the box.”

You can also call your local wildlife rehabilitation center and ask if they can drive over and help take the animal to the center. But what if it’s too late and they’re closed? Here’s some advice provided by a wildlife rehabilitation center on steps to proceed to follow until they open the following morning.

To spot an injured animal, I urge you to take caution in your driving and towards any injured animal that happens to be in your path. As always, approach the animal with sensitivity and the understanding they may feel attacked.

Though the goose itself was in pain, there was no doubt about that. But could you really tell from driving past? Probably not. I can’t stress enough the importance of observing animal behavior to see if an animal is in need of help. Animals can’t heal their wounds themselves, as if that wasn’t obvious enough. Yes, of course there is predation in the wild and this is natural but man made suffering is an act that can be prevented.

Besides, cars weigh thousands of pounds. If you can imagine slamming your finger into a car door, I’m sure you wouldn’t even be close to imagining being run over by a fast moving vehicle, able to feel every bit of that weight, while a creature 1/8 or less of the size!

Be the one to slow down and save a life. For a second, put yourself in their shoes.

Lastly, if there’s anything you can take away from this is that you have the ability to help. Please add your local wildlife haven to your contacts on your phone and bookmark local animal care clinics if you have a smart phone. They are more than happy to help you and I guarantee you will change and possibly even save a life thanks to your compassionate outreach toward other species.

And if you have already helped an animal in need, I want to personally thank you for your compassion and consideration of another being’s life. If it weren’t for the people who cared, there wouldn’t be anyone making a difference. So for that, thank you, because you are making a difference.

 

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  • William

    Thanks for writing this article, Kailei! Animals most certainly have feelings and are capable of showing empathy for each other. As humans, we have to understand that we are not the only beings around and that nonhuman beings outnumber us! In fact, in many areas, humans have destroyed habitats and built so much, that it’s become an increasing burden on the animals. ~ Aristede (VeggieBoards)

    • Hey William, thanks so much for your positive insight on the subject! As humans, it’s important we realize we have higher mental capabilities but it’s even more important that we use them to our advantage, in a way that influences all beings!