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CCEEC gets device to help injured wildlife

When the Amazon delivery truck pulled into the Carbon County Environmental Education Center earlier this week, little did Chief Naturalist Susan Gallagher know how quickly the contents of one of those packages would come in handy.

The center’s successful Giving Tuesday fundraiser efforts led to the purchase of an oxygen concentrator for wildlife, which immediately paid dividends for a snow goose struck by a vehicle in the Lehigh Valley.

“The concentrator came in around Monday or Tuesday,” Gallagher said, “and then Wednesday we got in a snow goose that had been hit by a car on Airport Road in between routes 329 and 248. A woman who saw it, stopped and got out of her to car to get it and brought it to us.”

The concentrator helps increase oxygen levels and is a very good treatment, Gallagher said, for things like shock and head trauma in wildlife.

“It’s a plug-in unit and we were able to fit it with masks we had gotten previously from the Carbon County Animal Response Team,” Gallagher said.

“It’s a safe, convenient way for us to deliver oxygen to the wildlife and it was really a perfect solution in this case. The snow goose tolerated it really well. We saw a noticeable improvement and he’s doing really well.”

Gallagher said the center put the concentrator on its Christmas list after borrowing one from another wildlife rehabilitation center.

“We had such great success with that, and thought that it really made a difference in the animal’s care,” she said. “So we thought, well, we need one of these for ourselves. That was the whole idea behind the Giving Tuesday fundraiser, and people really came through.”

In fact the center raised almost double the $350 needed to purchase the equipment. It put the additional funds toward other supplies.

“That’s what people intended the money to go toward,” Gallagher said. “We also have an Amazon wish list, and this time of year, it’s just daily delivery of packages. We’ve gotten food, bedding, dishes, gloves and so many things that people are willing to donate to the animals. I think people really appreciate having somewhere safe and legal to take wildlife in distress, and we’re happy to be able to offer that to them.”

As for the snow goose, it suffered a fractured ankle in addition to a mild concussion.

The prognosis, however, is much brighter.

“It’s going to be a while in rehabilitation, but I see no reason why we won’t be able to fix it and then release it,” Gallagher said.

Caring for the snow goose will just be the start of what Gallagher described as a very busy season for the center.

“I just got off the phone with a woman who’s bringing in a screech owl,” she said. “It looks like we’re going to have a few opossums and a squirrel that we’re going to be overwintering here, so it’s still quite a bit busy.”

Gallagher said the center remains always grateful for the support of the local community and its many donors and volunteers.

“The end of the year,” she said, “is a good time for us to look back and reflect on how many people have been so kind to us, have cared about what we do here, especially the wildlife rehabilitation program. On behalf of the animals here at the center, we appreciate everyone’s support so much.”

A snow goose, which was struck by a vehicle on Airport Road in the Lehigh Valley earlier this week, receives treatment from an oxygen concentrator at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center. The concentrator, which cost around $350, was purchased with funds the center raised through a Giving Tuesday campaign. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The oxygen concentrator, which cost around $350, was purchased with funds the center raised through a Giving Tuesday campaign.