7:09PM - A phone call came in from Julie Dubay with distressing news about a fledgling raven hanging upside-down, stuck about 25' up in a pine tree. Julie was house sitting for a neighbor and when she went over to feed their cats she noticed a fledgling raven dangling and flapping in a tree, obviously stuck! She expressed how she was unable to do anything since she did not have a ladder or ability to climb a tree. I also do not have a ladder and I am terrified of heights!Soon after I get a picture on my phone. And then another.
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After talking a few times I tell Julie that I will post a message on our High Desert Wildlife group on Facebook and ask for help!
Instantly people started posting. Tagging people that could possibly help or may know someone that could. A few posts talk about calling animal control and the fire department. At 7PM BOTH are closed. So my husband (Mike Marchigiani) calls 911 and pleads with them to send the Fire Dept. to help but they state that they do not do that kind of thing but they would contact Animal Services in Apple Valley to see if they can help. I get the sad news back that the Animal Control said they were not allowed to climb trees to rescue things. After another phone call with Julie she decides to hunt down a neighbor that works in construction and has some ladders and borrows the ladder from him. She calls me back to let me know that she has the ladder and hubby and I jump in the car with a rescue kit, a box and phone and off we go to the rescue! When we arrive Julie has pruning clippers and but branch clippers ready for the rescue.
Mike, my husband, has MS and is unsteady but still attempts to climb the ladder once we have it placed securely. I am terrified of heights but I convince him to get down and I climb up and start trimming a path toward the tree to see how close I can get to the fledgling. By the time I was at the top of the ladder the Diane from the Apple Valley Animal Control Services arrives and lets us use her tools to see if we can get this poor bird down. In the dark with our flashlights trying to figure all of this out, we hear a call from a neighbor asking if everything is OK. We hollar back that we are trying to get a raven that is stuck out of the tree and Julie goes over to talk to him. He is a young man and offers to help! The young man, Tadrian Patton, easily climbs the ladder and then a few branches to cut and prune away a few more branches to get close to bird in distress.
One more thing needed. A saw! So Julie runs back to her house and grabs a saw and soon the raven is cut lose from the tree and placed in Diane's net with the extension pole and lowered down.
I gathered the bird from the net and did a quick check of his condition and his wings were very beat up, scratched, red and bleeding from trying to flap and banging his wings against the surrounding branches. Diane, the animal control officer, had a knife and was able to safely cut the rope that was tightly wrapped around his leg and Julie got a picture of the offending material that was used in the nesting material.
After getting Chance back home and doing a more thorough exam it was noted that his leg had some more serious injuries. Because of the restriction from the rope causing lack of blood flow some of the tissue started to die off and he will likely lose one toe at the very least. We are working frantically to get a vet to do some cold laser therapy and we are also working with a wonderful woman who is trained in Electro-AcuScope. Dollar signs are flashing by my eyes with every call but we desperately want to get him as well as we can to give him a second chance to be a free and wild raven and back with his family unit.
We finally got a vet willing to see Chance today who could also do laser therapy and also does acupuncture. After the initial exam of the damaged leg the vet informed me that the laser treatment would not do any good as all the tissue was already dead. He checked each toe then the foot and all the way up the tibia and there was no sensation. He even tried 3 different types of instruments that should invoke a response from the nerves including a acupuncture needle and there was no hope. My stomach sank and my heart broke. His only suggestion was to humanely euthanize. The necrotic tissue could spread and the "good" leg was already showing trauma of over compensating for the damaged foot. So at least he was saved from a slow death of starvation or a predator and had a few good meals and a quick and peaceful passing. Thank you all for your support, prayers and good thoughts for this case. Sadly not all rescues end well but at least we did our best. All we can do is continue to try to help and save all the animals that cross our paths.