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Ronnie recovers after being hit by a car
Photo by Kevin Smith
   
 

Support your local wildlife rehabilitators!

Because animals living in the wild "belong" to no one, they have few advocates and few places to recover from injury or to receive sanctuary when they are in need. By becoming aware of reputable wildlife rehabilitators in your region, you may well have an opportunity to give an injured animal a second chance. Sometimes small actions, taken in a timely way, make all the difference in the world.

   
All the difference in the world
A happy ending for Ronnie Raccoon

After the world premiere of Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, on our last night in Boulder, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Lester Karplus and Karna Knapp at their beautiful retreat in the mountains above the city. Lester and Karna shared stories of their travels around the world, which have allowed them to witness firsthand the impact of the global crisis on vulnerable populations of people and animals. These distressing experiences inspired them to create Delectable Planet, with a mission " to encourage people to eat lower on the food chain to support environmental sustainability, increase social justice and be healthy."

On the way back to our hotel after dinner, we got lost and ended up in a tunnel, where Kevin noticed a raccoon who had just been hit by a car. Though it seemed unlikely there was much hope, we turned around and stopped our cars in the middle of the tunnel. The poor guy was bleeding from his nose, mouth and eyes, and his front paws were limp. We broke down a cardboard box to create a makeshift stretcher, and as we were huddled in the middle of the road trying to get the poor raccoon out of harm's way, a man with two dogs in his car slowed down, asked if we were trying to help an animal, shouted out an address in Boulder, and then quickly sped off without another word.

So we turned Kevin’s car into an ambulance, and with Eric tending to the injured raccoon in back, we raced into town, trusting that we’d find something or somebody helpful at the mysterious address. And in fact, we found a 24-hour vet clinic.

With all four of us advocating for the poor critter, it seems the staff had no choice but to give this very lucky raccoon a real chance. Ronnie, as they named him, got a full exam, painkillers, and oxygen. And with all that help, he pulled through the night and was transferred the next day to Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, where they continued to treat his collapsed lung and head trauma.

Amazingly, Ronnie is now doing very well, and is expected to be released back into the wild within a few days. Had any aspect of the timing been even a little bit different, he surely would not have made it.

We left Boulder feeling as if we had received a wonderful gift, and with a very personal reminder that to each animal in need, our help is what makes all the difference in the world.

Greenwood




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