Suddenly, Montague saw a raven in the grass near the intersection of Jackson and Jefferson streets.
“He was on the ground and just didn’t look right,” she said.
Montague and the girl cornered the bird in a nearby yard as it tried to walk away rather than flying. They discovered an injury to its elbow.
After a quick call to Debbie Pappas, director of Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation in Price, Montague was on her way to Green River to hand off the bird to the experienced rehab professional.
Pappas found no broken bones. She gave the adult male raven some anti-inflammatory medicine and restricted its movements for several days.
“Thank goodness it didn’t need much,” Pappas said of medical treatment.
She and Montague celebrated the raven’s return to health Thursday, May 9, by releasing it from the KZMU Radio parking lot on Rocky Road. They chose that spot because it was near the place Montague found the bird and provided an open space for it to fly.
“He’ll stay around here for a day or so and then find his family,” Pappas said after the raven flew to freedom.
She explained that ravens mate for life as long as both survive.
“They have really close social structures in their families,” Pappas said, adding that she’s seen ravens sit quietly for hours mourning the death of a member of their flock.
“They understand the concept of death and give reverence to their dead,” she said.
The fast recovery was another success story for her rehab center, a calling she’s followed for 20 years. Montague and La Sal resident Linda Webb are sub-licensed under Pappas’ rehabilitation center and provide a place for injured birds or small mammals to stay until they can be given to Pappas.
They hope to do the same kind of rehabilitation work that Second Chance provides, and Pappas said there’s need for more people to help injured critters.
“West Nile virus is a problem with these guys,” Pappas said of ravens, which can live 15 to 20 years in the wild. “There also are poisonings and shootings, unfortunately.”
Fundraiser benefits rehabilitation center
A day of wildlife education, fun and fundraising is set for Saturday, June 8, during an event called “Flock Together.” Proceeds will benefit Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation of Price, which cares for injured birds and small mammals rescued by state agencies or citizens.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve on Kane Creek Boulevard, and will include booths about wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife photography by Keith Cauley, and bat education by Tom Haraden. There also will be an owl calling contest.
A silent auction for Second Chance will be from 6 to 9 p.m. the same day at Eddie McStiff’s, 57 S. Main St. Works of art by local artists and others throughout the state will be available, as well as other items.
For more information, call Debbie at 435-650-3441 or Sara at 435-259-0910.