Saturday, August 22, 2009

ARL Wildlife Rescue Center

Some people think that everything non-human is expendable. Most of us are sickened by tales of gross abuse and neglect, but many creatures get hurt by simple negligence or accidents--I am heartened that there are those who won't just leave the "least" among us to die because they happened to be in someone's way. It is completely awesome that you can rebuild a turtle shell, and even more awesome that there is someone who does it.

This story made me tear up, but I'm a sucker for turtles. OK, I'm a sucker for just about everything that isn't an earwig, silverfish, or a mosquito, but still!

As someone who has stopped traffic on many occasions to rescue some small creature, been late for work to return a dog that kept running into the street during morning rush hour to his home, and trekked out to Verona with a furball (SQUIRREL!!) in the back of the car on two occasions, I <3 the Wildlife Center.

Spread the word, and donate if you can.

Focus, not on the rudenesses of others, not on what they've done or left undone, but on what you have & haven't done yourself. ~ Dhammapada, 4

ARL Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
InterNest Explorer 
 August 2009

Box Turtle Taped Shell

Look twice to save a life...

YOU can help give turtles a second chance!
Turtles are some of the most prehistoric looking animals we admit at the center. This summer, it seems as though we are admitting more turtles than ever. Although turtles have tough shells to protect them from most predators, when faced with a conflict such as an oncoming car or lawn mower, the turtle always comes out on the losing end.

Painted Turtle in cast

 Just last month, we admitted a painted turtle that was simply taking a morning stroll through a yard. Suddenly, a lawn mower ran over him, ripping off the top and side of his shell. He bled profusely as he ran toward the bushes to hide.
Luckily, someone saw the accident, picked up the turtle and shell pieces and rushed him to the Wildlife Center. When he arrived, the turtle laid in his box, head down and facing a corner. Staff treated him immediately. We stopped the bleeding, disinfected the wounds and rebuilt the shattered shell pieces just like a puzzle. As we worked and gave him fluids, he perked up, even mustering the energy to attempt to bite us!

Painted Turtle Cracked ShellSadly, many turtles are not so lucky. There are things you can do to keep turtles and other animals safe in the wild. While mowing, watch for wildlife in your path. Many animals are injured this way because they are too young or too slow to get out of the way in time. If you see a turtle in the middle of the road, help him finish crossing by safely pulling your car off the road and carrying him to the other side.

The painted turtle now faces a long stay with us while his shell heals. He will always have the scars from his run in with the lawn mower, but this turtle will eventually get a second chance at life.

If you would like to help this turtle and others receive the care they so desperately need, please consider donating to your local wildlife center today!

 Donate Now

You may also mail donations by check to:
ARL Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
c/o ARL 6620 Hamilton Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206 
Martha and Baby



Jill Argall, Director
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

6900 Verona Road
Verona, PA 15147 

Phone: 412-793-6900
Fax: 412-793-6283
Join Our Mailing List
Our Mission
To rehabilitate and release injured and orphaned wildlife and to provide educational programs to regional residents in order to help foster an appreciation for conservation and a harmonious existence between humans and wildlife.

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Why is this place called Rough Branch?

Rough Branch is a reference to Wendell Berry's "mad farmer" poems. Berry is an agrarian populist poet, and advocate for sustainable agricultural practices. I don't agree with every position he takes, but his reverence for the beauty and balance of the natural world, for the preciousness of the life that runs through it (including our own), and of the community that sustains both the land and each other, speaks to my heart.

Over the past few years, I have sunk myself into the soil in my back yard, and into the community of neighbors that surrounds it, and it has begun to restore me. My garden is not just a plot of dirt providing vegetables for the salad bowl, it is an act of love, a place of profundity and awe. If you knew about the ecosystem that lives in but one gram of good earth, you would be humbled, literally, to the ground.

Berry's poems are passionate calls to live--deeply, profoundly, fearlessly. To step out of narrow-minded egotism, to secede "[f]rom the union of self-gratification and self-annihilation, [to] secede into care for one another, and for the good gifts of Heaven and Earth."

And so I have made my own nation small enough to walk across. I have named the small corner of the earth I steward Rough Branch. I have declared myself free of ignorant love, and I secede...

From the union of power and money,
from the union of power and secrecy,
from the union of government and art,
from the union of science and money,
from the union of ambition and ignorance,
from the union of genius and war,
from the union of outer space and inner vacuity,
the Mad Farmer walks quietly away.

There is only one of him, but he goes.
He returns to the small country he calls home,
his own nation small enough to walk across.
(From "The Mad Farmer, Flying the Flag of Rough Branch, Secedes from the Union")
The Mad Farmer challenges us to reconnect, to resurrect our land, our communities, and our souls.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
(From "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front")
All quotes from Wendell Berry.