Sarah Simpson column: A bird in the bush worth two in the stove?

Today’s topic is animals and Facebook.

As you may know, I am often searching through the various Facebook community groups you’ve allowed me to be a part of to see what good news is going on out there that I can report back on. If you’re wondering why I talk about some parts of the community more than others, it’s probably because you haven’t let me into (or have kicked me out of) your group.

But I digress.

Today’s topic is animals and Facebook. It’s like a match made in heaven. People sure do lose their dogs and cats a lot. Even birds go missing. And horses wander, so too does the odd pig and/or cow. It’s the nature of living in a rural area I suppose. Animals wander. Missing pets in itself sucks. Nobody wants to lose a pet. They’re part of the family after all. Now that I’ve brought everyone down…here’s the positive part: people always rally to help find those animals.

SEE RELATED: Reunited and it feels so good

SEE RELATED: It took two months but the cat came back

Such was the case last week when Amy Peaker posted on the Shawnigan Lake Events, News, Links, Community Forum Facebook page the following message:

“Does anyone know if Wild Arc can help get a bird out of my wood stove? It’s flown down to where the glass is and can’t get back up,” she wrote.

Wild ARC is the SPCA’s wild animal rehabilitation centre. They’re based in Victoria and work 24/7/365 to help sick, injured and orphaned wild animals.

Within minutes Shawnigan’s own Judy Bobke offered to find Peaker the help she required.

Also within minutes, Peaker realized there was not one bird in her wood stove, but two!

She needed help and Bobke was on it.

The ever-community-minded Bobke put Peaker in touch with Mony Vesseur, a volunteer from Wild ARC, and an hour later Vesseur was at her house ready to wrangle some birds.

Bobke had met Vesseur back in December of 2018 when the community rallied to try to help a wild turkey that had been shot with an arrow. The duo had worked together to try and round up that turkey. Unfortunately the turkey didn’t make it, but the friendship between Bobke and Vesseur did.

The first bird was easy for Vesseur to remove, according to Peaker.

“She got out a towel and put it over the door and caught the first bird and put it into a box and released it outside,” Peaker explained.

One down, one to go. Except the second one wasn’t as easy.

“The second one was stuck up in the pipe so she was looking up with her flashlight and it flew into the house,” Peaker added. That added a little extra chaos to the already stressful situation.

“We both started panicking but were able to catch it with a net,” Peaker said.

It would have been cool if that was the end of the story, but it’s not. There was just a bit more drama.

“The poor thing had its claws stuck in the net so we took it outside and Mony held it while I got the net out of its claws and it flew away as soon as it was free.”

All — the humans and the birds — were relieved that the situation resulted in a positive outcome.

“You could hear the two birds calling to each other once both were released,” Peaker said. “It was great to see!”

Peaker said she was grateful not just for Vesseur’s help but for Bobke’s involvement, too.

“She is such a big part of this community,” Peaker said of Bobke. “She helps everyone anything she can. She’s amazing.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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