2021 Fall Newsletter | Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue
"The Earth has music for those who listen."
- Unknown
A Message from our Executive Director
Special Collaborations
SCWR Staff, alongside Dr. Quinton Martins (right) and Dr. Graham Crawford (center), provide fluids to mountain lion patient P-26 shortly after their arrival at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue.
Dear Supporters,

A lot has happened here at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue in the past couple of months. Even with Baby Season ending, the energy is high with the unusual events of the 5 black bear cubs arriving due to the recent fires in Northern California and the amazing collaborative efforts for the mountain lion that was recently rescued in Rohnert Park.
Mountain Lion, P26, crouched in open in dry drainage near Evergreen Elementary.
On Monday morning October 19th we received a call on our wildlife emergency cell phone from a gentleman who said he lived in Rohnert Park where a Nixle alert had notified him of a mountain lion in a creek behind his home. He said there were police officers and other emergency personnel on scene. He was worried about the situation and wanted to know how he could help. I let him know that we would make ourselves available if were needed in any way, to support the rescue efforts of the mountain lion.

I thanked him for calling and was just hanging up when I received a call from one of our partners, True Wild (read more about this partnership in our summer newsletter here). Liz Martins informed me they had a situation with one of their collared mountain lions that they had been monitoring through the Living with Lions Program with Audubon Canyon Ranch. P-26, who they had been observing since she was a 6-month-old kitten in 2017 and had a congenital neurological disorder that impacted her movement, was not doing well. She was lying still, out in the open in a dry creek bed and unresponsive. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was on scene so being able to share valuable monitoring history with the Department was extremely valuable for the rescue efforts at hand. They asked if we were able to admit the lioness into our wildlife center once she was captured.

Our staff back at the wildlife center was alerted that the mountain lion would soon be on her way and needed a secure enclosure made available to her. We received the final go ahead from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and our staff went into full gear making preparations. While the Rohnert Park Public Safety officers secured the area, Warden Tiffani Wolvek worked in unison with Dr. Quinton Martins who quickly had the lioness darted and then secured in a transportation cage.
Through the combined efforts of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and True Wild, the P-26 was safety tranquilized and brought into care.
Once they reached Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Dr. Graham Crawford and Dr. Martins went into action, quickly drew blood samples and sought additional consultations with veterinarians at CDFW. More advanced medical tests were recommended and Dr. Graham Crawford reached out to one of his colleagues at VCA Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park for help. Since this young lioness was still heavily sedated, they were able to quickly get her admitted for the more technical and advanced medical tests she would need for a detailed health assessment. VCA staff went above and beyond, conducting a full suite of tests including X-rays, ultrasound, blood and urine tests, as well as an MRI!
P-26 receives radiographs (left) and an MRI (right) thanks to VCA Animal Care Center.
Unfortunately, despite the amazing efforts of veterinarians at VCA, Drs. Crawford and Martins, and SCWR staff, a treatable condition was not uncovered. The lioness had lost 15 pounds since being collared in March, was exhibiting abnormal behaviors, and had a chronic, untreatable neurologic condition (the source of the name “Wobbly”). Always a difficult decision, but it was decided that this 5-year-old female mountain lion, fondly referred to as Wobbly, should be euthanized. CDFW were understandably concerned about the future well being of this individual and public safety.

The rigorous and professional efforts of all of those involved resulted in the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Many times, when faced with the tough decision to euthanize an animal in our care or the care and responsibility of other like-professional organizations, due consideration for both what is best for the animal and public safety needs to be made.

These outcomes may not always be pleasing to everyone, but in the end, we try to do what is best and learn everything we can for that “next” time. We are grateful to have such a strong sense of trust and support from our professional partners.

We would like to applaud and thank the following agencies for their amazing contributions and how well they worked together on the rescue efforts of Wobbly. Collaboration from our professional partners and supporters here at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is what helps make all these efforts possible.
Again, much appreciation to all these fine organizations and individuals.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Rohnert Park Public Safety
Rohnert Park Fire Department
True Wild
VCA Animal Care Center
Dr. Graham Crawford (assisting True Wild and the Living with Lions Project)

Sincerely yours,
Doris Duncan
Executive Director
Event Updates
Winter Internship at SCWR

Interns wanted! Are you considering pursuing a career in the animal care field? Do you want to know what it's like to work in wildlife rehabilitation?

Click here to find out more information and to start the application process. Winter applications are due by October 31st.
Volunteer Orientation

Our annual volunteer orientation is quickly approaching! If you would like to know what it takes to volunteer at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, please visit our website here.

Those who would like to attend our Volunteer Orientation on January 8, 2021 should fill out and submit an application no later than December 15, 2021.
Community Spotlight
VCA Animal Care Center Rohnert Park

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue would like to give a special thank you to VCA Animal Care Center for their helping hand with the Rohnert Park mountain lion, P-26. After learning of our need for help in diagnostic tests for this mountain lion, Animal Care Center jumped into action and were ready for our arrival immediately after receiving the call. The caring team at Animal Care Center, led by Dr. Sara Schachter and Dr. Diccon Westworth, conducted radiographs, urine and blood analysis, ultra sounds and even an MRI. While these tests are extremely costly, the kind hearts at Animal Care Center donated their services to this mountain lion free of charge. As the closest emergency veterinary clinic to Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Animal Care Center has offered tremendous aid to us since 2001. Their compassion and willingness to lend a hand continues to leave a lasting mark on our rescue and the patients they help. Join us in giving a special thanks to the team at VCA Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park.

To learn more about their services, please click here.
BOMP Corner -
Fall Maintenance

As Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue's BOMP Program continues to grow, more and more people are learning about the importance of properly maintaining their barn owl boxes on an annual basis. Currently, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue has already cleaned over 100 boxes and our schedule is completely packed through the middle of November!

This year, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue has responded to multiple emergencies where we had to temporarily remove barn owlets in uncleaned boxes because the box had either become so full with compacted feces and pellets that it started to tear apart or there was not enough room left inside for the barn owls to grow, making it extremely likely that they would jump from the box or be pushed out prematurely. When it comes to barn owl clutches inside of barn owl boxes, a hands off approach is always best, which is why we only conduct emergency removals and repairs if the situation is dire.

If you have a barn owl box on your property, protect next year's owls by cleaning your box this fall! Call or email us today at 707-992-0274 or bomp@scwildliferescue.org.
Executive Director Doris Duncan cleaning out a heavily used box where a barn owl was pushed out by competitive siblings due to feces compaction.
Sibling barn owls monitored by use of trail cameras to ensure that the parents are present.
Animal Care Spotlight
Spotted skunk orphan cared for at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue during the 2021 Baby Season.
Baby Season Recap
Baby season has come to an end at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. While a few late season orphaned opossums and squirrels are still trickling into the center, our intake numbers have finally begun to fall and our volunteers and staff have been able to take a long awaited deep breath. So far in 2021, we have cared for over 1,300 patients to come through our center's door. This baby season, we have experienced a few firsts and grown as an organization in new and exciting ways.

The two turkey vulture chicks that arrived in late May were recently released at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue (read more about their care in our Summer Newsletter here). These two turkey vultures came into care at one week old and were unable to be reunited, making them our youngest turkey vulture patients to come into care at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. Since their release, we have had the unique pleasure of watching them join a local kettle, frequently visiting Hugo, the educational ambassador who helped raise them.
Turkey Vulture patient takes flight through Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue's Predator Exclusion and Education Program Barnyard shortly after its release.
The first bear cubs came to Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue for care this August (read more about their arrival here). With the recent addition of two orphaned sibling cubs from Mono County, the total number of black bear cubs in our care has climbed to five. Since their arrival, our community has rallied around us and supported our efforts to care for these cubs by bringing food donations to our center doors. Thanks to you, we have been able to fully sustain these cubs with the food you have donated! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all who have donated! These cubs continue to have insatiable appetites, eating roughly 700 pounds of food a week. We want to keep this amazing momentum going, if you would like to donate food to these cubs, please sign up on our website here.
Diet preparations for bear cubs loaded into back our mule consists of solely donated food.
We also want to thank those who have donated towards the development of our Apex Predator Enclosure. Thanks to you, we have raised $170,000 of the $250,000 needed to build this enclosure. If you would like to donate towards the development of this enclosure, please click here.
Orphaned bear cub receives a sedated medical exam after its arrival to SCWR.
While we are no longer working at the rigorous high pace of baby season, there is little time to rest as preparations for next baby season must begin. This winter, our animal care team will be hard at work preparing enclosures, restocking depleted supplies and building new enrichment for next years wildlife patients. Preparations for next baby season include some costly endeavors including restocking formula for our youngest wildlife patients, purchasing a new Vitamix Blender to make our weaning care recipes for orphan wildlife patients, and developing custom made plastic den boxes that can be fully sanitized for use in our isolation enclosures. If you would like to donate towards these winter projects, please use the donation button below.
Support Your Local Wildlife!
Donate Today!
Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that relies on donations from the public to rehabilitate the 1,000+ animals we receive each year. We do not receive any government funding. Our annual operating budget is $950,000, which means it costs almost $2,600 per day to keep our doors open.  Any donation helps!
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