By Daniel Warn / [email protected]
Ravens: Scary? Check. Clever? Check. Capable of unlikely and healing friendships? Check, check, check.
Jonny Snow the Crow, affectionately nicknamed “Mr. Snow” by his rescuer, spent five days in the loving hands of Rainier resident John Wilson. Wilson chronicled his time with the bird on Facebook, which ended with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife intervening to ensure the animal made a transition healthy towards nature.
Wilson was on appeal for his company, Wilson’s Tree Expert Company and Sunrise Farm, when he stumbled upon the crow, motionless and abandoned in the middle of a road near Lake Lawrence late last month.
“While I was there, I noticed that there was a bird, of medium size, (which) appeared to be black,” Wilson said in an interview with the Nisqually Valley News. “It was on the roadway, in a traffic lane. I hit a branch and backed off. No one was coming and I looked over there and I said, ‘What’s the matter, little guy?’ And he just stood there. It wasn’t going to budge.
So Wilson got out of his truck and looked for the crow’s parents. Finding none, he bent down to pick up the bird, allowing Wilson to carry it to the passenger side of the vehicle.
Like a loving father, Wilson brought the bird home and set up a makeshift nest for it in a large crate in a greenhouse that was kept open so the crow could leave when it had the strength to fly. .
After calling Yelm’s veterinary clinic and finding the place full, Wilson set out to treat the crow.
“I tried giving him water and he wouldn’t take any water or food for two days, and I was really concerned about it,” Wilson said.
The crow needed food, so Wilson decided to take action.
“On the third day, I took out a syringe and force-fed him with water, but not a lot,” he said. “And then all of a sudden there was a lot of energy. And then I put a bowl of mixed fruit that I read they like to eat in front of it, along with some cat food.
Wilson used a small black straw to feed the bird, which looked like a crow’s beak enough for the bird to accept the offerings.
“Update on Mr. Snow the Crow,” Wilson posted to his 603 Facebook followers on June 25. “This guy eats and drinks like crazy. Seems to like a mixture of banana and mealworms. He eats and drinks on his own. … He has the freedom to come and go. So far, he chooses to He gets a few hours of wing exercise by holding it in my hand moving it quickly up and then down, forcing him to spread his wings with a flap motion.
As the bird gained strength, Wilson set up a perch near his deck and the crow settled down there, accompanying Wilson and his dog under the afternoon sun each day.
And the three forged an unlikely friendship.
“When I got home from work, Mr. Snow would come quickly and I would sit on the deck and drink ice water or a cold beer, and Mr. Snow would come and sit next to me,” Wilson said. “We have a mixed Rottweiler / Lab dog named Hank the Tank. And Hank took a liking to this bird. He looked at it. Everywhere Mr. Snow went, so did Hank. He kept this bird like it was his best friend.
During the five days the bird stayed with Wilson and his dog, he left a mark on their lives while making a remarkable recovery, Wilson said.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife learned of Wilson’s efforts and removed the bird from human care while Wilson was at work.
“Mr. Snow was able to fly three or four times, then it was a Monday morning,” Wilson said. “I left to work to look for another job. Fish and Wildlife came and took Mr. Snow. ‘really upset, because they didn’t call or nothing. I never got a call or nothing.
Distraught, Wilson said he called the department.
“I said, ‘The worst thing that happened today was Mr. Snow came to this property without a cage and he left in a cage,” “Wilson said.
Wilson was then contacted by the captain of the department, he said, who explained that humans often create a harmful footprint on a wild animal, making it overconfident and leaving it open to injury.
“Well, it’s illegal to keep wildlife,” Wilson said of his conversations with Fish and Wildlife, though he couldn’t hide his frustration. “Well, what are you supposed to do? Leave him on the road? This bird is not attached with a tag that says “Don’t take me”. It’s against the law. ‘”
A little later, the ministry reminded and explained to the still unhappy Wilson that if he called first in these kinds of situations, people usually hide the animal in question, which would be even more damaging, he said. declared.
Ultimately, Wilson gained a better understanding of how wildlife can be safely rehabilitated.
“If you see a wild animal that’s been injured, know the resources. Call Fish and Wildlife, ”Wilson said, adding that he appreciated the work of the ministry and that the information he was giving him was critical to understanding why the ministry intervened. “This information was vital to know and we would love to participate in the rescue of the animals. If anyone has any questions about animal rescue, immediately call Fish and Wildlife and they will send resources.
Wilson may have worked to rehabilitate the bird, but the crow’s work on humans was where the real healing happened, Wilson said.
He said his time with the bird had cured him of a period of depression and anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mr. Snow had grown very attached to me, and running a business in Washington State is not easy, especially with this COVID story,” Wilson said. “We usually have a little extra cash at hand. have in an emergency. Right now we really don’t do that, and it all has to do with people and their struggles and stuff. I felt a little sorry for myself because of that thing, to cause of COVID, then I realized there was so much more to life than that.
“Bonding with an animal in need and sharing those needs together, sitting on the porch, watching this bird and Hank interact, showed me the blessings that are more than monetary needs,” Wilson continued. “There is much more to this world than just monetary needs. And, man, I feel so much better from this experience.