It was me that dozens of drivers passed on the highway chasing the mortally wounded bird. Scores of cars whizzed by far above the speed limit craning their necks to watch what was going on. Of the scores, one stopped to offer and help. To that kind driver with an entire family in tow, I sincerely thank you. To everyone who passed me by, I say fuck you.
I'm so sick from watching animals suffer needlessly and dying horrible deaths.
I was on my way to visit a friend. In my car which I had recently emptied out I had 2 small containers of carrot ginger soup, a smelly beach towel from yesterday's workout at the gym, and a crushed roll of paper towels with about 2 sheets left on the spindle. Gone was the small animal crate I usually have in the back, with the extra towels "just in case." Why did I remove that from the car? To make room for groceries? Probably. Regardless, it was a bad move.
I had just turned out of my street and not even driven a mile when something caught my eye on the side of the road on the opposing side of the highway. Whatever "it" was, "it" did not belong there, for "it" was trapped between the deer fencing that lines both sides of the highway in that spot... a blessing for cutting down deer strikes in that small spot, but perilous when an animal gets trapped between the fencing for whatever reason. As I came upon "it" I realized "it" was not an "it" but rather a cormorant who was wounded. At that time I couldn't tell the extent of the injuries, but without a second thought I pulled over, waited a second, and then did a U-turn to approach her. What I saw made me gasp.....
There she was on the bike path, desperate to fly away from me in my slow moving car now also on the bike path.... but she couldn't fly. She could barely walk. She was mortally wounded. Whoever did the deed did not stop to help, or even to call the Wildlife Officers to put her out of her misery. I grabbed my smelly gym beach towel, flipped on the hazards and went out to her. She was terrified, and tried to run... she tripped over the wing that was barely hanging on. I saw bones, tendons, and blood.... too much blood.
It was me whom all the interested, but not interested enough to stop and help, drivers saw running down the bike path frantically throwing that gnarly beach towel over a panicked, tortured, wounded, bleeding cormorant. It was me screaming aloud to the whizzing cars to slow down, please slow down. Please stop and help. Please. PLEASE.
No one did.
I could see out of the corner of my eye, yes drivers were interested and watching me, but they were driving way too fast, and also not stopping to help. Three tries with the towel and I finally hooded this living innocent victim suffering so incredibly. In all my years of helping wildlife, I've never had a mortally wounded animal expend so much energy to attack me. She wanted to kill me. I don't blame her. If I were in blinding pain with one of my arms barely hanging on spewing blood over exposed bones and tendons, I'd want to fuck with you big time too.
It was me who was splayed out on the bike path with a smelly gym beach towel over the bird writhing in pain, trying to bite me. You, you were the ones who just looked and did not care. Why?
As she continued her efforts to bite through the towel, I scrambled with 1 hand to capture my phone and made a call to the other happy vegan. I knew he'd make the emergency calls, and be on site within minutes. As I was sobbing on that bike path because there was nothing I could do in that moment to relieve that tortured animal from her pain, someone pulled over across the highway asking if I was ok. No, I'm not ok, someone hit this bird and left her to suffer. Help is coming. Thank you for stopping to help, for caring, for bothering. Because no one else cares. No one else stopped. I am alone in the Paradise sunshine crying, hands covered with blood, trying to whisper calmly to an animal who is in horrible anguish and doesn't give a shit about whispers, words, or anything else because of PAIN.
The other happy vegan rounded the corner in his big truck, within a moment he was out and took over with the bird. I ran to his truck to get another larger, heavier towel. As we were doubling the hooding, FPH pulled up. I offered a less than 10 second synopsis, then begged for their help. There was nothing they could do.... they had to defer to FWC. Please, please, please.... can't you help, can't you get involved? I'm sorry ma'am, no.
It was me who had to beg enforcement for help that they could not give.
We got bird rescue on the line and informed what was happening, who we were bringing in, and what to expect. I jumped into the bed of the truck, grabbed a box full of tools and drill bits, flung them across the bed of the truck and brought it out to the bike path. As gently as possible, the other happy vegan lifted the double hooded bird into the box. No matter how gentle, we know more excruciating pain ensued. She was placed into the truck and off he went for the inevitable.
There she was precious cargo, dying in agony in a smelly used gym towel in a cardboard box that minutes ago was full of greasy tools.
You motherfucker who hit this innocent bird, I think you should know, it was me who wiped the fresh blood of a commorant off my hands at the side of the road on used paper towels dipped in the grass still went from the rain that had freshly fallen before all this started. While it probably was an accident hitting the bird, you intentionally drove on leaving her mortally wounded, in unimaginable pain, to die terrified among speeding traffic, alone.
You hit her and left her to die, but it was me who was left with what you refused to help with. You should know... the suffering she endured was immense. It was prolonged because you did not do the right thing as soon as it happened and make a simple call to emergency. You left her to suffer. You left her alone. You left her terrified.
It was me who will never forget the terror in her eyes and the blood on my hands. For all of this, I say fuck you.