Monday, 24 September 2012

Axle the Accidental Adventurer

Hello my friends!

When Mr Shabudin Emeti started up the engine of his truck early one recent Sunday morning for the round trip from his home in the market town of Mapusa to Panjim city, he was oblivious to the secret stowaway he was taking along for the journey!

He parked the vehicle in the city and was away on some business matter for only a few minutes. On his return some bystanders who’d witnessed him arrive alerted Shabudin that they could see a dog beneath the truck cowering and balanced on the fuel tank between the body underside and the driveshaft (or rear axle), and that the dog had been there when he arrived.

The dog cowering on the fuel tank
Obviously the dog must have been there since his departure from Mapusa, he had probably climbed to a dry space to sit out the previous night’s monsoon rain.

Shabudin was concerned as to the condition of the dog: after the ordeal of the unexpected treacherous excursion, had it sustained some horrific injury? Was it likely to be in an aggressive state? Could it be sick and dangerous? The only solution for the safety of all would be to seek help and luckily for “Axle” Shabudin knew of International Animal Rescue and Animal Tracks and decided to take his vehicle and its uninvited passenger to the rescue centre and seek their help.

Using particular caution to avoid any potholes that might jolt the suspension that was so close to Axle and could have crushed him, he drove at slow speed, hoping not to inflict any further harm on the poor dog in his self-imposed precarious perch where he’d been positioned for at least 35km.

On arrival staff at the centre at once prepared to remove and help the dog, anticipating that he would most probably be badly injured. Gently Gokul, IAR’s kennel manager, tried to coax the terrified animal out of his hiding place huddled amongst the mechanical components beneath the vehicle.

Axle being extricated with a catchpole
But Axle was not about to come out easily, he was so terrified and traumatised from the ordeal and had no idea that these people were trying to help him. So Gokul had no option but to slip a catch pole loop gently around Axle’s neck and slowly extricate him from his hidey-hole beneath the truck. Still fearful and in obvious shock, Axle was taken to a kennel and examined for injury.

Amazingly there was not a scratch on him: he was covered in oil and grime and wet from the monsoon puddles lying on the roads, but otherwise completely unscathed.

An amazed Shabudin returned home after giving IAR staff exact location details for Axle’s return. Axle is not sterilised, so after he recovers from his exploit in the safety of the Animal Tracks kennels for a few days, he’ll have the surgery, be vaccinated  and then taken back to his home territory.

Axle safe at Animal Tracks
Next time he’s looking for somewhere to shelter from the rain for the night, he’ll no doubt choose a permanent spot that doesn’t move on in the morning!

That's all for now!
Love Olive x

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Orphaned squirrels come on in squeaks and bounds!

Hello again!

Here’s a sweet story about some special squirrels: three tiny orphaned Three-Striped Palm Squirrel pups arrived recently at the Animal Tracks centre and, being too young to survive without their mother, their care was immediately undertaken by IAR's Abby who has a wealth of experience in successfully rearing a variety of rescued wild baby creatures.

The pups are thriving
The three little pups soon settled into their temporary home and eagerly thrived on Abby's regular feeding regime of chickoo, papaya, banana, custard apple and cerelec (a dietary supplement often given to orphans of many species that are cared for at the centre). Time has passed and the pups have grown stronger and more inquisitive: one in particular seems to stand out as leader of the gang, being more active, naughty and adventurous than the other two. Now, as they've reached about seven weeks old, it has become necessary to build them a larger cage in which they can exercise and play. Their new enclosure will eventually be hung outside in a tree: it has a little flapping door which will be released allowing the pups to come and go as they please, easing their transition back into the wild when they feel ready.

Three's a crowd at mealtimes!
In the wild they would be weaned at about ten weeks old. But for now their new purpose-built house will provide them with a safe, dry shelter where they can return for food and sleep until the day eventually comes when the three little squirrels become confident enough to take their final leap into the big wide world away from Animal Tracks, bidding farewell to all at the centre, with particular thanks to nanny Abby! According to ancient legend, Three-Striped Palm Squirrels are closely associated with the Hindu deity Lord Rama, giving these little rodents a sacred and protected status throughout India. So they really are very special indeed. That’s all for now!

Love Olive x