I received a call from Hope for Wildlife this morning about a newborn seal pup in Shelburne whose mother had been killed. The pup was so young it still had its umbilical cord attached, and the folks who rescued it had to cut it free from a stand of tall grass. Once they freed the pup, they began to feed it cow's milk and sardine juice and called Hope, who told them to stop. (For the record, unflavored Pedialyte provides electrolytes to thirsty wildlife babies and is usually safe to use in hydration. Beyond that, it's important not to feed them except under the supervision of a veterinarian or wildlife rescue person). Shelburne is a solid two and a half hours away from here, so Sean and I hopped in the car and headed down. Three quarters of the way there, I received a call from the folks who had the pup. Apparently, its mother wasn't dead after all and had returned. They put the pup back on the beach, and the mother took over, nudging it into the ocean. By the time we arrived to check on the animals, both pup and mother were long gone.
So, points for freeing the pup from its entanglement, but no points for taking it away from its nest and feeding it human food and negative points for making us hie our asses all the way down the south shore for nothing.
But the day wasn't over yet! On the way back, Hope steered us toward three baby raccoons, whose mother had apparently been hit by a car. The family who had found them was feeding the raccoons canned milk, and when I spoke to the woman of the house, I told her to stop. When we arrived, one of them was being held like a puppy by a twelve-year-old boy who later admitted he had sprayed them with water (O.o?). We put the raccoons in the carrier I had brought, thanked the family and brought the animals home, where they were retrieved by another Hope for Wildlife rescue coordinator and taken back to the farm.
So, points for making sure the mother was dead before removing the babies, but no points for feeding them canned milk and negative points for handling them like pets and spraying them with water.
In the middle of all this, we stopped at a Chinese restaurant for lunch and ordered spring rolls from the vegetarian menu but were brought pork spring rolls instead after specifically indicating to the waitress that we were vegan and making certain the food we were ordering met our dietary needs. When I brought the mistake to the waitress' attention, she said, "If you wanted vegetarian spring rolls, you needed to order them from the vegetarian menu. Didn't you know that spring rolls have meat in them?" (O.o?!?) Waitress fail. No tip for you.
So, it's been a weird day. But there was a baby raccoon rescue in it and an awesome Gaelic study group at the end. And as I write this, Sean is in the kitchen stir-frying a late supper that smells like win. Okay, now you get what you came for; KYOOT BEBE RACCOON PIKCHURE!