One Sunday afternoon on the WILVOS hotline I had a call from a young woman. She saw a waterhen limping down the side of the road. She stopped and tried to catch it but it ran off into the long grass.
As always, I asked her if she was parked safely off the side of the road. I think we should always ask that as sometimes people forget to be aware of their own safety.
The lady wanted to know what she could do. I asked if she had a blanket or towel in the car. The answer was ‘yes’ and she thought she could see the bird through the bushes. Still on the line, there was a running commentary and lots of squishy and tramping noises.
Next thing heard was, “I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” I explained to always be careful of both ends, the beak and the legs. Birds can inflict injury on the rescuer if not covered well. Asking if there was any injury, the young lady said that the waterhen definitely had a sore leg.
Unfortunately there was no container in the car but the bird was carefully wrapped in a blanket and a towel, with its head covered so it would be less frightened and stressed. I asked if this obliging lass could take the bird to the Tanawha vets. The answer was in the affirmative so I rang to advise the vet surgery first and then rang the rescuer back to say they were expecting her.
When asked where the waterhen was, I was told it was strapped in with the seat belt on the back seat. The vision in my mind made me laugh, but I thanked her profusely for helping our wildlife.
Claude – WILVOS Hotline