Page 1


A Cautionary "Tail" © Photo by Carl Stouffer

Kittens Attend School

Oh, Deer! SWCC Has a New Deer



outhwest Wildlife rescues and rehabilitates wildlife that has been injured, displaced, and orphaned. Once rehabilitated, they are returned to the wild. Wildlife education includes advice on living with wildlife and the importance of native wildlife to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Education and humane scientific research opportunities are offered in the field of conservation medicine. Sanctuary is provided to animals that cannot be released back to the wild.

Board of Directors Linda Searles — Director Michael Sapp — Chair Linda Moore — Secretary Mike Wilson — Treasurer Mark Finke

SWCC Staff Kim Carr — Animal Care Manager James O’Brien — Clinic Manager, Vet Tech Nikki Julien — Education Director Lynne Stone — Animal Care Specialist Hillary Cummens — Animal Care Specialist Khymberly Lewus — Vet Tech Stephanie DuBois — Education Specialist Robyn Moul — Education Specialist Kristin Simione — Administration Kris Wheaton — Administration

Contents Impacting Wildlife Today and Tomorrow page 3 A Cautionary "Tail" from Rescue to Release page 5 Kittens Attend School page 7 Learning and Change page 8 Oh Dear! SWCC Has a New Deer Page 10 Rocky's Story Page 12 Thank You! Page 14 Other Ways to Help SWCC Page 15


Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center


Impacting Wildlife Today and Tomorrow


ome know SWCC as a rehab facility, some as an educational facility, while others think of us as a sanctuary. In reality, we are all those and much more. The mission of SWCC consists of four key components: Wildlife Rehabilitation, Conservation Medicine, accredited Sanctuary, and Education. Each of these components has elements of its own and together they create a far-reaching educational and animal welfare foundation. My image

of SWCC is of a wheel, where each spoke supports and works with the others to strengthen our overall mission of saving our wildlife one life at a time. Wildlife Rehabilitation is all about helping individual animals. We rescue injured, orphaned, and displaced wildlife with the ultimate goal of returning each to the wild. Our rehabilitation methodologies are shared with others, enabling them to utilize our experiences to help wildlife that come under their care. Conservation Medicine is an umbrella field that brings together practitioners, teachers, researchers, and students from various fields within the health and natural sciences. The guiding principle of conservation medicine is that health—the health of individuals, groups of individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems— connects all plant and animal species of the planet, as all species are linked together in the web of life.

SWCC has made numerous contributions to the field of conservation medicine. Generally, SWCC has expanded our knowledge of wildlife, assisted in developing programs that impact the survival of wildlife and habitat, and contributed to the knowledge base with respect to medical treatment of rehabilitating wildlife and preventive care for captive wildlife. A few examples are: • Tracking animals once they are returned to the wild to better understand them and their relationship with their habitats • Developed and implemented at SWCC a program to utilize wild-born “foster parents” for orphaned coyotes, bobcats, and raccoons, so they may be released back into the wild • Developed a successful black bear rehabilitation program • Performed hormonal studies, in conjunction with the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center, to determine hormone levels and timing of estrus cycles in female Mexican gray wolves • Conducted, with Dr. Lowell K. Nicolaus, a conditioned taste aversion trial for mountain lions to create within the lions an aversion to the taste of bighorn sheep and thereby reduce predation on them by mountain lions.

Kittens learning to climb


www.southwestwildlife .org



Sanctuary is a safety net of All of this knowledge is incorveterinary staff, and get hands-on sorts, allowing SWCC to provide porated into our Educational pro- wildlife experience; and our youth permanent homes for animals that grams, which benefit our Nature are inspired and motivated to seek can’t be returned to the wild due Center guests, our interns, and higher education in a field related to imprinting and/or habituation wildlife in general. As a working to wildlife. (such as animals It is because of that were kept as you, the supporters pets) or because of SWCC, that my the results of vision of a multi-factheir injuries preeted wildlife facility vent them from has materialized. being able to surWithout the support vive in the wild of our donors, voleven after they unteers, and staff, have recovered. SWCC would never Some of these have become what it sanctuary aniis today, nor would mals are used in it have the potential our foster parent to impact the future program, raising of wildlife. orphans to stay Together, we wild so they can have created a be released and foundation that is survive in the here for our wildwild. Others, if life today and will they are combe here for our fortable around wildlife for generhumans, live ations to come. in our Nature With sincere Orphaned raccoon kit comforted by a stuffed animal Center and become gratitude to all SWCC that produces physical warmth and a simulated wild ambassadors, supporters for their heartbeat to ease stress teaching our guests generosity, compasabout the importance of all wildwildlife facility, SWCC is a living sion, and devotion to wildlife and life in a sustainable ecosystem. As laboratory of sorts. At SWCC: the wild places, we care for them on a daily basis, public gets an inside view of what our sanctuary animals also help we do and how they can help our us learn more about their species wildlife by learning to live with and their medical and husbandry them without conflict; veterinary Linda Searles needs. and biology interns shadow animal keepers, spend time with our


Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

A Cautionary "Tail" from Rescue to Release


ecently, one of our newest volunteers went on her very first rescue call. With few details she headed to Casa Grande to rescue…a skunk. While driving she visualized a flawless rescue, and in her head even named it Daisy.

Houdini playing hide and seek in the truck engine

The transfer went perfectly. As she was trained, she double checked the door to the crate, and put a blanket over it to help keep the animal quiet during transport. She could hear the skunk exploring, and then silence as it settled in for the long ride back to Southwest Wildlife…or so she thought. Scanning for traffic, she looked left then right and noticed she had a co-pilot…THE SKUNK! Shocked she did a double take and sure enough the skunk was sitting on the passenger seat. She quickly pulled the truck over to catch her wits, as well as the skunk. When she realized her gloves were in the back, she climbed over the seats to retrieve them ONLY to lose sight of her target. Knowing it couldn’t have gone far, she was certain she would find it. Unfortunately, after searching high and low, it remained at large. On the drive home, she had a lot of time to think about just where the skunk could be and concluded that somehow it had managed to get itself behind the glove compartment or possibly in the dash of the truck. What do you name an escape artist? Why “Houdini” of course. Once home she set a pack rat trap with goodies, placed it inside the truck and waited. The next day she was shocked when she saw the food gone, but NO skunk. Two more times she would set the trap, and two more times no skunk. Continued

www.southwestwildlife .org



Staff and volunteers trying to extract Houdini out of the truck engine

Plan B: Use a hose to flush Houdini from under the truck. The skunk retreats, but every time the water stops, the skunk peers out, taunting. Hours have gone by, so the decision is made to leave the truck overnight and let the skunk leave of its own volition. The next day the skunk was gone, neither in the wheel well or the drive train. The End…or is it? Fast forward ten days, our volunteer noticed several items tipped over and moved in her garage. Putting things away, she thought it must be pack rats. That

is until she saw Houdini (AKA Stinkerbelle) waddle across her garage floor. Without food and water for several days, the skunk was no longer playing hard to get, and walked right into a crate, for a mouse. The adventure didn’t stop there, once in Southwest Wildlife’s care, the skunk continued to be a source of trouble, often spraying when being cleaned and fed. Recently, Houdini got his happily ever after and was released. For the first time the staff and volunteers were NOT sorry to see the back end of this little skunk, as it turned tail and ran off into the wild.

Plan A: Take a trip out to Southwest Wildlife for a more thorough search, including pulling the glove compartment and dash apart. At this point there are now 4 people looking for a very small spotted skunk. With only one door open to limit escape possibilities, the skunk runs from behind the dash and out the one open door, and into the wheel well. Our vet tech and animal care specialist reach in with their gloves and as you can probably guess received an unwelcome spray of noxious fumes! The diversion worked, because now the skunk runs across the windshield and back under the truck, this time near the drive train.

Houdini finally captured in a humane box trap


Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Kittens Attend School


he thought she had found the perfect quiet and isolated spot to raise her 4-week-old kittens. However, when the high school students returned for their first day of class following break, this young mother was in for quite a surprise. While trying to relocate them to a safer place, she stashed them in a drainage pipe on campus. The entire school was on lock down for a brief time while the AZ Game & Fish Department assessed the situation and determined the best course of action. Ultimately, the area around the drain pipe was isolated from traffic as students were allowed to move between classrooms and the cafeteria. Mama had escaped into the nearby desert, where she was tranquilized and captured a short time later. She was taken to SWCC, where she received a clean bill of health and was estimated to be 2 years old.

Mom and kittens a few weeks after capture, recuperating at SWCC

Because the kittens would be able to exit the drain pipe on their own once things quieted down, humane live traps were placed around its entrance. One was trapped late that night and the other early the next morning. The kittens, who were skittish from their ordeal and quite hungry by this time, were reunited with Mama at SWCC. All three have been released back into the wild—far from any schools, as Mama will provide them with all the education they will need!

www.southwestwildlife .org





ake a step back and think about the first time you encountered a wild animal. Whether you were at a zoo, sanctuary or camping in a forest, you wanted to learn more about that animal. Seeing an animal and learning about an animal should go hand in hand. How can you protect that animal if you don’t know what can Visitors on an educational tour learning harm it? How can you fully about mountain lions appreciate them if you don’t know where they come from and what they require to live on a daily basis? Here at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, our education department strives to make life-long connections between people and our native wildlife. Our education department fills multiple roles. We educate and inspire those that tour our sanctuary as well as those that visit our website and social media pages. We also bring in funds to care for and support each animal that is in need of rescuing. Our animals require the basic necessities such as food and shelter, both of which cost money. An increase in knowledge is not the end goal. We invite and encourage action. These actions vary from educating your neighbors and friends about how to coexist with wildlife, to making a donation or sponsoring a sanctuary resident. Action brings about necessary changes. We wish that some of our animals did not have to come to us, and it is through action and education that future animals can remain in the wild and our rehabilitated animals can safely return to the wild. Cleo the mountain lion


Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

www.southwestwildlife .org





his is a story of mystery and intrigue that could end in violence. You have heard stories of Jane Doe. This is a story about John Deer. Like any Jane Doe, John Deer’s past is a mystery. He was seen wandering a Tempe neighborhood, lost and alone. Though deer are regularly seen on the fringes of the Phoenix suburbs, a deer population living in Tempe is unlikely. We can only surmise that someone found this baby in his natural habitat and


brought him home. Taking a wild animal home is no rescue; this was a kidnapping. Mother deer stash their babies in thick cover specifically to keep them safe. Fawns are about 8 lbs at birth; many of us have a small dog that weighs more. Fawns aren’t even knee high when they are typically born around the 4th of July. That spotted coat helps them blend in with the dappled light of bushy cover. Interestingly, they do not have a scent. Why all this cloaked disguise? To keep them safe from predators, like bobcats, coyotes, and the worst—humans. Does

come back to their babies a couple times a day to feed the little one (or ones, they often have twins). In a month or so, the fawn loses the spots, takes on the sandy-gray tone of the adults and begins to follow mom to learn the ways of the deer. But sadly, little John Deer never got that chance. This scenario is far too common. Humans see a baby deer amid the tall grass or under the shrubs and think—“it’s abandoned!” Probably not. Mother will never stray far. The best course of action when you see a baby animal is to call Southwest Wildlife Conservation

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Center’s animal emergency hotline (480-433-5656) and tell us about the situation. We will counsel you to take either of two approaches: the “wait and see” approach—give it 12 hours or, if the situation is truly dire, leave the rescuing to the professionals. Though many wild animals can be raised at our facility and released, a law in Arizona prevents deer of any age or condition from being released back into the wild. John Deer’s kidnapping, though the intentions were innocent, has now subjected him to a life of captivity. Now, let’s also introduce you to Lou. Lou is a mule deer buck and he is in fine form. Except that he can’t leave our center either. Also brought in as a small fawn that was kidnapped, the cute little fawn “Luanna” grew a pair of antlers and was renamed Lou. Lou is feisty even when not in rut. During rut, which is November through January, Lou is given his own enclosure so he can’t pester the five females that he lives with the rest of the year. We have this system worked out—you can visit us for a tour and see Lou and his harem year around. Lou is quite manly right now with four prongs to his antlers. Enter John Deer and his little antler buds. John Deer is no threat to mighty Lou now but in a few years when Lou is aging and John is coming into his prime… the two will lead to clashes. If faced with a challenger, any buck will defend his turf. Obviously we can’t let these two duke it out—we want all our sanctuary residents to live as stressfree as possible, being in captivity is stressful enough. There is nothing for it but to give John Deer, if he

stays with SWCC, his own enclosure. Can John Deer live his life at another location? Not likely. John Deer was not the only fawn kidnapped in Arizona this year. Some fawns are taken to game farms were their future is uncertain. A buck takes up a lot of room, and young bucks are likely to be butchered for human or animal consumption once they reach maturity. How will John Deer’s story end? If we want to know that John Deer is given the best captive

life possible, we need your help. There are many ways to donate to Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. Cash donations are always the easiest. You can also visit our donate tab on the website: www.southwestwildlife.org/donate/ And one of the best ways to help all SWCC animals is to come out and meet them, hear their stories first hand on a tour of our sanctuary: www.southwestwildlife.org/visit-us/

Opposite and above: John Deer

www.southwestwildlife .org





he rescue call came out around 8:00pm on November 11 about a raccoon stuck in a fence and unable to get free. Further information indicated the raccoon might have been trapped for more than 18 hours. Responding to the call all types of scenarios went through my mind as to how a raccoon could be caught in a fence for so long. During the drive the song Rocky Raccoon entered my mind, so I affectionately named her Rocky. Upon arrival shortly after 9:00pm I was led to a backyard with mature landscaping surrounded by a fence with a two foot masonry base and three to four feet of vertical wrought iron slats on top with


approximately four or five inches of separation. Rocky was difficult to see at first, being hidden by a mature bougainvillea. With the owners permission the bougainvillea was trimmed to get a better view to assess the situation, and I immediately noticed a large leg hold trap on the left rear leg preventing Rocky from getting through the fence and holding her captive. On further investigation the left leg had an open fracture with two to three inches of bone sticking out. It was obvious Rocky was in great pain from the cries as she continued to twist and turn to seek freedom from the fence and trap. After several attempts to free Rocky it became obvious the

wrought iron fence would need to be cut to free her. After receiving permission from the owner the wrought iron fence was cut, and Rocky freed and placed in a kennel positioned below her. Rocky was transported to SWCC where waiting staff started the initial treatment. Rocky was anesthetized, the trap removed, and antibiotics and pain medication administered. The amount of time the leg was in the trap, and the damage done, required Rocky’s leg to be amputated. Rocky recovered well and, being young, quickly learned to adapt to only three legs. She was successfully released back to the wild at the end of April!

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Left: Rocky Raccoon being extracted from the fence Below: Rocky later, after recovery and prior to release

Above: Rocky Raccoon sedated to remove the leg trap

THANK YOU! For Those Without A Voice

Two years ago, For Those Without A Voice generously donated funds to add additional square footage to SWCC’s veterinary hospital. Since then we have been working to upgrade our medical equipment so that we can better care for our wildlife. This year FTWAV donated funds from their Fire and Ice gala to purchase a brand new ultrasound machine for SWCC’s veterinary hospital. Our veterinarians are excited to have this amazing diagnostic tool to help save wildlife. Thank you FTWAV!

Dinner With Wolves

The Dinner With Wolves event was a sold out success bringing in much-needed revenue to support SWCC’s Mexican Wolf program. Much thanks to Ann Damiano, Pam Wugalter, Ann Siner, My Sisters Closet, SWCC’s Director of Education, Nikki Julien, and all the SWCC volunteers that helped out.

X-Ray Machine Donation

SWCC has been in need of a new x-ray machine. Ours was over 40 years old, the images were not very good, and parts to repair the old machine were proving to be more and more difficult and costly to find. Jim and Patricia McAllen came to the rescue with a large donation as a match towards a new digital x-ray machine. With the matching funds in place, some of our other donors stepped up with matches enabling us to purchase a new machine. What a difference this has made for the animals! The new machine is faster so animals do not have to be under sedation as long, plus the images produced can be texted or emailed to our doctors so animals will not have to be moved and our doctors can diagnose and treat patients more quickly and accurately. Thank you.


Above: SWCC vet tech James O'Brian reviewing ultrasound images- with one click he can send them to SWCC's volunteer veterinarians Below: James checking vital signs on an injured coyote while taking radiographs. The new digital machine allows us to email images to veterinarians, saving time and stress on the animals.

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Other Ways to Help SWCC Amazon Smile…

SWCC Wish List

It is easy! All you have to do is go to Amazon Smile when you are purchasing from Amazon and search for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. Amazon will make a donation to SWCC based on the amount of your purchases.

Visit our web site and see what we need on our wish list. Then visit Amazon Smile and donate them to SWCC!

Adopt an animal

Visit our web site and adopt an animal as an alternative gift .

Become a Wild Family member

Become a part of our Wild Family monthly giving program and support Southwest Wildlife’s mission to Save Our Wildlife, One Life at a Time! When you sign up to join our Wild Family with a monthly gift, you’re providing a consistent, reliable stream of income that we can count on – like family – to always be there when an animal needs help. Visit our website to learn more: www.southwestwildlife.org/donate/ wildfamily/

Scout projects

My Sisters Closet

When redecorating or cleaning out your closet or attic, take your highend items to My Sisters Closet or My Sisters Attic. Request that SWCC benefits when the items are sold!

Other Ways to Donate • Stock donations • Planned Giving • Land donations • Create a legacy through endowments or memorials

It’s a privilege for us to work with Boy Scouts wishing to complete projects to fulfill their Eagle Scout requirements. These projects are a huge benefit for both Southwest Wildlife and the Scouts. For more information, contact us at: scouts@southwestwildlife.org.

DONATION GOALS Veterinary Hospital Needs:

• Laboratory equipment so that we can do testing in-house, saving critical time when diagnosing patients. • New surgery lights for our operating room.

Summer Facility Needs: Evaporative coolers • Downdraft • Side draft • Portable

www.southwestwildlife .org



8711 East Pinnacle Peak PMB #115 Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Yes, I want to help make a difference for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center! Enclosed is my donation (please use the enclosed envelope provided). $25 $50 $75 $100 $500 other Please make checks payable to: Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center Or visit: www.southwestwildllife.org, and make your contribution online We accept all major credit cards: Name: ______________________________________ Address: ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ Name as it appears on card: ______________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________________ Credit Card # _________________________________ Exp. Date: _______________ CVC Code: __________

For more information on how you can help please go to: www.southwestwildlife.org and learn more about becoming a member of our Wild Family, Legacy donations, Adoptions, In Honor and Memory of donations and upcoming events. Thank you to our sponsors:

Profile for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Summer 2018  

Summer 2018