CC is a wood duck who came into my life today when I drove over him. No, I don't mean I hit him, I mean I drove, literally, over him. I was driving from teaching one yoga class to teaching another. CC was sitting in the middle of Excelsior Blvd in St. Louis Park holding vigil next to a dead, very squished bird. Cars were driving over the pair because of that instinct most of us have to swerve around even dead things. But, as I watched CC and friend as I drove over them, I saw CC moving. I pulled over immediately and ran toward CC. As I did so, a truck came barreling down the road and I said, out loud "pleasedonthithimpleasedonthithim" and, miraculously, the truck drove over CC as every other car had. CC had had quite enough by this point, however, and began to run like crazy all over the road chirping with all his might (which isn't a lot; he's little).
I chased him around and finally got him to safety by a tree. Then, I began to mull what to do. I didn't know if this was a "don't touch him and leave him or his mother will kill him" type of situation or a "get the duck to a rescue place asap so he's got a chance." I opted for the latter. I scooped CC into a box from the nearby Holiday and drove to teach my yoga class.
When I got home, I could no longer postpone the inevitable: CC needed to go somewhere that was not a) my house, b) my yard, c) some scary place where I wouldn't know what would happen to him. After all, I rescued this little rugrat from the middle of a busy street--no way was I sending him off to die.
Enter: The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (WRCMN) in Roseville. I brought CC there and was greeted by a volunteer. She didn't bat an eye and greeted me with "what do we have here?" She took a look at CC, designated him a wood duck, and handed me a form. She told me that I had done exactly the right thing and that by rescuing him I had saved his life.
While I filled out CC's paperwork, the volunteer told me that they usually get around 100 ducks a day this time of year. ZOINKS. Seriously? A HUNDRED ducks? A DAY? They're non-profit and run completely on donations and volunteers. They have a vet onsite who, the volunteer said, would check out CC. Then, he'd be placed in a pond at the center with other wood ducks, and he and his new family will live together and learn how to be out in the wild until it's time to release them. When they're released, they're released all together so they all have the protection of their "posse" and no one has to go it alone.
I am so, so grateful that a place like this exists so that I was able to spend the last 6 hours (and the rest of this night) knowing that CC is safe with other ducks and not dead. I know, there's something to be said for nature taking its course and all that, but I don't consider cars barreling over animals at 65 mph to be "nature taking its course." CC deserves the life he was supposed to have when he woke up this morning--or as close to it as possible.
So, my summer vacation begins with me saving a life. Not too shabby, I'd say. I hope I don't ever have to do it again, but I'm really glad that I know what to do if the need should arise.