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Swans end up in the back of a police cruiser

Two injured Mute Swans found on Loyalist Parkway in the the County Monday made their way into the back of an OPP cruiser and are now in the caring hands of Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre near Napanee.

The two appeared to have hit hydro lines near Consecon and made a crash landing on the Loyalist Parkway, at Lakeside Drive.

Leah Birmingham, assistant director at the centre said they were found by an OPP officer who had them contained until a volunteer was found to drive them to the centre.

Swans recovering in care at Sandy Pines.

“It appears they have hit a hydro line and the female has a fractured femur,” said Birmingham. “We are still stabilizing them, but hope to release them together once she has healed.”

The swans join others admitted this week, including an Eastern Screech Owl, Barred Owl, Ruffed Grouse and a Red Squirrel – all hit by a vehicle and an American Goldfinch that struck a window and a Black Capped Chickadee attacked by a cat.

Also joining the group this week was a Common Loon with the note that their legs are farther back on their bodies than other birds, making it impossible for them to walk or take flight on land.

“When they get grounded in storms, or crash on a highway that looks like water, they are stranded,” the website’s weekly update notes. “After a physical which included a waterproofing test and x-rays, this beautiful, feisty bird was released. Immediately after hitting the water she was seen swimming and diving in the lake.”

Last year there were some 289 ‘patients ‘ from Prince Edward County and more than 200 so far this year

They include red foxes, Turkey Vultures, Red-Tailed Hawks, Great Horned Owls, Eastern Screech Owls, 30 turtles, Brown Bats, four other swans, mallards and a host of song birds; cottontail rabbits, squirrels and raccoons.

When they’re rehabilitated they are taken back to where they came from when ever possible.

“We have about 25 volunteer drivers from the County and always need more,” said Birmingham. “Over the years we have had several hands-on volunteers from the County. Currently Liz Joffe is our most regular volunteer from the County. She comes every week and works with many different species of birds and mammals.”

Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre has been in operation since 1994 helping injured and orphaned wildlife, then releasing them back to where they came from.

Each year more than 4,000 mammals, birds and reptiles are admitted to the centre, and most are released successfully.

The centre has some 200 volunteers who help with care, transportation and fundraising. The centre receives no funding from the government and exists solely on donations and fundraising.

A major project this year has been reaching a $40,000 goal to rebuild a barn lost in a fire in January and to create a new aquatic centre. No animals were lost in the blaze.

Sue Meech, the centre’s director, used the barn to provide winter shelter for hundreds of animals through the years.

Construction was delayed when its contractor became ill, but since the ‘Before the Snow Flies’ campaign was launched this fall, more than $35,000 has been raised along with an offer from Graham Construction to complete the project for use this winter.

Click here for the Canada Helps website page for the Before The Snow Flies campaign.

Assistance is always welcome with the centre’s wishlist that includes greens, apples, unsalted nuts, dried cranberries and raisins; bird seed (wild or sunflower seeds); oat or wheat bran; wheat germ, cornmeal.

Also listed on the needed list are postage stamps, work gloves, butterfly nets, bleach, dish soap; hook and eye latches; pressurized water misting bottles, rock salt for water softeners; heating pads without auto shut off, extra large industrial garbage bags and empty toilet paper rolls and small cardboard boxes (such as from cereal, paper tissue and medicines).

In memoriam and planned giving gifts are also welcome, as are donations in another’s name as a Christmas gift idea.

Email to order the 2019 Fundraising Calendar. Visit the Sandy Pines website,  or its Facebook  page to view the current online auction or for information on several upcoming fundraising events being held in the region.

The centre is located at 8749 County Road 2, RR6 Napanee. Note: For the well-being of the animals, the centre does not conduct tours. Human interaction is only done for daily care and medical procedures.

Filed Under: Local News

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