Arkansas wildlife rehabilitator to share adventures with Village Audubon SocietyTaken from the Hot Springs Village Voiceby CLINT SOWARDS
January 7, 2009
Wild birds will be flying in the Coronado Center auditorium when Tommy Young returns to address the 10 a.m., Jan. 13 meeting of the Village Audubon Society. Bring your camera.
Young has been a rehabilitator of wildlife, birds and animals in Arkansas for the last 26 years. He operates out of his headquarters near Mena, Ark.
During that 26-year period, he has returned a vast assortment of wildlife back to their habitat.
These animals and birds had been injured in some way, needed some tender loving care, and sometimes hospitalization before they could re-enter the wilds and be able to survive.
A rough inventory of critters Young has sent back to the forest includes 14 bears, 10,000 hawks, 9,000 owls, 22 bald eagles, 19 golden eagles and over 22,000 mammals.
In 2008 ,he brought back to fighting weight over 700 animals and birds, including 27 fawns, and released them back to the woods, fields, and airways.
Young usually releases a bird as part of his program. An important facet of a release is to place the bird or animal back to freedom as close as possible to the spot it was injured. His last visit included the release of a barred owl which had been struck by a car in this vicinity.
This fawn is one of the animals Young has helped. This fawn is one of the animals Young has helped. Television station KTBS of the Shreveport, La., area will be following Young during the January and February making a series of shows concerning the trial and tribulations of a wildlife rehabilitator. At the time of this writing it was not clear if the TV crew will follow Young to this particular program.
Following the series by KTBS, the syndicated TV program Animal Planet plans to make a pilot film of Young's operation.
Recently a Harlan's hawk was brought to Young for care. The Harlan's hawk has always been thought to be a red-tailed hawk that came out a little differently. With careful study, Young produced specifics about the bird which has brought about the possibility that Harlan's hawks will be listed as a separate sub-species of the redtailed hawk.
All of the expense involved with Young's operation are met by the small donations made at his "zoo" near Mena - and donations made at programs such as the upcoming Audubon meeting.
The cost of animal food, veterinarian services, upkeep of the property and other such expenses are considerable.
An anonymous donor has made an arrangement through a local bank to match all of the donations made to Young's operation during January and February.
Membership in the Audubon Society is not a requirement to attend the meetings. Guests are more than welcome.
A full house is expected so come early to get a good seat.
As mentioned before - be sure to bring a camera.