Osprey rescued from fire zone
|The efforts of Lake Almanor Basin photographer Jan Davies and United States Forest Service employee Karen Juska rescue this grounded osprey from an uncertain fate Aug. 19. Photo by Jan Davies|
She said he had just gotten to the old dump road, about one-half mile in from Highway 89, where a strike team was staged, when he saw the grounded osprey and called her to take photographs.
“When I approached the road blockade manned by United States Forest Service employee Karen Juska and told her my purpose, she jumped in her truck and followed me,” Davies said.
Prior to driving out to take photographs, Davies attempted to call Pam Yeates in Westwood, who helped her rescue another osprey two years ago.
“I was only able to reach Yeates’s voice mail so I passed the telephone number on to Karen. Karen also called several officers of the California Department of Fish and Game, including Kyle Krall and retired officer Bob Orange,” she said.
Davies said Juska was leaving messages with anyone she could think of.
“In the meantime, I advised Karen to avoid stressing the bird, clearly in shock, by keeping people and vehicles away. She flagged the area and created a small roadblock to prevent any fire vehicles from hitting the grounded osprey.
“I really thought no one would be able to assist the bird and that it was probably a lost cause but I didn’t give full credit to how fervent Karen would be in securing the osprey and seeking help for it.
“She made me so hopeful that we could save it, though my doubts were strong that anyone would come through in time,” Davies added.
Upon her return home, Davies said she went online to Google the wildlife rescue rehabilitation facility that handles raptors in the Tahoe-Truckee area and left yet another message describing the situation and gave them Juska's name and cell number.
Davies said her husband spoke to Juska again Tuesday, Aug. 21.
“She told Bill my calls had saved the bird, that it had been taken to Truckee. I have no idea of which call saved the bird and it doesn't matter.
“What a great feeling of joy and relief that this bird was saved when we know so many are dying from the direct or indirect effects of the smoke that has caused havoc, especially for the bigger raptors.
“That rescued bird is my symbol of hope for this fire,” said Davies.
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