Tracy and other Floridabirders,

Tracy, you didn't ATTEMPT to rescue a Gannett, you RESCUED a Gannet.  It has
taken me four years of volunteering at C.R.O.W. to realize that euthanization
is treatment, just like fixing a broken wing.  It is done rarely, thank
goodness, but it is done quickly and with dignity when it is the best
possible treatment for the animal.  Nearly 50% of the sick, injured and
orphaned native Florida wild animals that C.R.O.W. handles (we handled over
3,100 last year and the number goes up every year) are released, as healthy
as we can make them, back into the habitat from which they came.  This means,
unfortunately, that even the marvelous skills of Dr. P.J. Dietschel -- a list
of my other heroes will be sent privately to anyone who cares -- and her
staff cannot guarantee survival.

As for Gannets, I have not had the honor of rescuing any myself, so you are
ahead of me there, but I have seen several while they were being treated.
Most of them were rescued near shore which was a good indication that they
were in bad shape.  Birds, which make up about 70% of the animals we treat,
which are out of their natural habitat are usually too easy to capture.
Let's face it, healthy wild animals that can fly are usually IMPOSSIBLE to
capture!  I, too, was surprised to see Gannets on our list, both because of
their more northerly range and their pelagic nature.  We do get Loons,
usually in winter, but Gannets are rare.

Thank you for caring about the Gannet, knowing what to do for the bird and
then doing it.  Are you sure that Tampa is the place for you?  We need MANY
more volunteers at C.R.O.W. -- You said your mother drove you, so I should
warn you that you have to be at least 15 to be a volunteer -- and birding in
Lee County is always spectacular.  :-)

Dick Beeler
Fort Myers, FL

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