Mango

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — A timid knock sounded on my hotel door the night before I was to return home from a family wedding. I opened it and there stood Cece, a sweet little eleven-year-old with both hands outstretched, holding a large mango. “Here,” she said shyly. “This is for Teton Totem.” It was a beautiful mango. A large, round, beautifully-shaped, unblemished mango, perfectly ripe. I had spoken to her earlier in the day about our animals---our bears in particular---and I said how Teton was a mango kind of bear. She was enchanted and asked a lot of questions. At lunch, there was an island in the center of the kitchen piled with fresh fruit. I watched, fascinated, as she...

Fox standing on a log

— by Dawn Harrison — Foxes Sprite and Ghost got to enjoy some beautiful weather while stretching their legs in one of the animal gardens. Ghost took his cues from his elder at most turns, many times with a look that seemed to say "Wait for me!" But when he decided to go swimming, he was more than happy to take the lead. Sprite, not one to follow the younger fox, used the respite to inspect the recently downed tree instead. To each their own! Sprite and Ghost in the Grass | Dawn Harrison Bluebell Approves of Hay Delivery Every year, one of the big questions is “Will there be a hay shortage?” This is a critical question, and the only one that matters as far as Bluebell the...

Two baby raccoons in an outdoor enclosure

— by Dawn Harrison — This has been a difficult week for rehabilitation efforts here at Earthfire, having more losses than wins. They warn you when you start that it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. You won’t be able to save them all, and it can be heartbreaking. But knowing something intellectually and handling it emotionally can be quite different. Flightless Duck We received a call that a Momma duck and five ducklings were left in an intake pen at a local shelter. Momma had been injured and wasn’t able to walk well. Although it was late in the day, I loaded a crate into my car, stopped and got some feed for them, and made the hour-plus trip over the hill to bring the...

Raven with an injured wing that has been treated and wrapped with bandages

— by Dawn Harrison — It’s the time of year when rescue and rehabilitation are in full throttle. It’s painful enough to see animals coming in because they have been orphaned or injured in accidents. But when we receive animals who have been intentionally harmed by humans, it’s downright maddening. We received a juvenile raven over the holiday weekend who was suffering from a badly broken wing. He was brought to us by a lovely young couple who found us online when they were looking for where they could bring him. They were only in the area visiting for the holiday, yet they were willing and happy to drive half an hour to bring us the injured bird, which they found hopping near a...

Face of a grizzly bear

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Ravenous bears… 21 September. The bears declared that they’re starving today. It is a few hours before the fall solstice and they are complaining loudly. Food! They will have to be fed first before anyone else now---and three times a day---or we will hear about it. Have you ever heard a bear roar in protest? It is not a pretty sound. Poor sweet things. They sound ferocious, and because of their size we take it very seriously. But really, they are feeling like desperate infants crying their need out to the world. The physiological pressures and urges are huge. If they don't get enough food, they won't make it through their winter hibernation. Here, they...

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