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Poor bird: My story of failure and inability to help an injured animal

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posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 05:35 PM
I was at the publix parking lot, and I saw it there. I gotta get this out because frankly I just feel awful inside right now.

So I was pulling into the parking lot, when I see a small crowd of about three or four people gathered around a bird. I park, and walk over to get a closer look, and there's this injured, medium sized bird. I'm not sure what type, probably a pelican, or an albatross, or something like that. And I ask the people if the bird is okay. They say no. I look at the bird, and it's obviously in a lot of pain, I'm not sure what from, I couldn't see a visual wound, but it was suffering.

And these people are watching it suffer, and I ask any of them if they know the number to the animal rescue service, but none of them do, and they just walked off. So I run to the radio shack in a frantic frenzy, because I figured they would have wifi, or internet, or something to google it, and they do, so they tell me the number, and I call it, and go back out side.

A woman picks up the phone and I tell her in what must have sounded like a crazy person's voice that there's an injured bird, and I can barely get the location out to her because of how stressed I was, and her first question to me is if it's a parrot. She tells me she specializes in rescuing parrots, and furthermore is far out in the boonies of my county. She tells me that the nearest rescue place is a good distance away. Then, when I can't find the bird, she tells me she has to go.

By this time, I can't find the bird, because in the time it took me to go inside radio shack, it had gone somewhere. When an animal knows it's dying, it wanders off to somewhere private. It's probably in some alcove now, alone, dead, because I wasn't smart enough. I could have called home, kept an eye on the bird, and asked a family member to google the number for me. But I couldn't think of it.

I look and look and look for this bird in the publix parking lot, nearly breaking out into tears, looking like the craziest of crazy people to all the folks in the parking lot, and I can't find it. I look for what feels like forever, and I can't find it. I couldn't find it. I had to get groceries, and it was raining out, sky grey as it's ever been in my life. I look some more. I give up, a failure, a person who let that bird die.

I go shopping, get the groceries for the week. I go to the customer service desk nearly crying, and since I apparently got the wrong kind of apples last time I shopped, I was tasked with returning them and getting organic apples. So this customer service and lottery ticket lady sells five lottery tickets to this woman, she scratches them off, and none are winners. She buys some more, and repeats. Then she gets frustrated, cuts her losses, leaves. Then the customer service/ lottery woman asks me if I'm there to buy lottery tickets. I tell her no, that I have two problems, one a lot more serious than the other. I explain the apples situation to her first very quickly, and then tell her about the bird. She tells me that she'll tell the manager.

I read the grocery list, buy everything on it, fried chicken included. Fried chicken was on the list. So I'm at the deli staring at the chicken and the man at the counter did not want to look at or talk to the man staring at the chicken, nearly in tears, trying to find something, anything on the bright side, but I just see the bitter irony in the situation, and I go to the check-out, and pay, then go out and look for the bird some more. I can't find it and I'm just walking around in the rain in almost a fugue state, looking for this poor bird, and I couldn't find it.

I go home, and wish I could have done something.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 05:42 PM
reply to post by Grifter42

Dear Grifter - you did do something. You tried and you cared. You attempted. Seriously that is huge compared to everyone else who just stood there. I am so, so proud of you. You didn't fail, not at all.

Birds can suffer awful internal injuries and just the shock alone can be the end for them. Birds are very, very fragile when it comes to any kind of injuries.

Hugs to you, you care.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 06:02 PM
reply to post by Grifter42

Look man, its never easy to see an animal suffer, and its never nice to THINK you could have done something to relieve its pain. But you have to be realistic here. First of all, its likely that the nearest place that could have done something to reduce the birds suffering would probably have been too far away to have been any good what so ever. All you could have done, if that bird was on the way out, would have been to end its suffering, probably by severing its brainstem in some manner.

Its hard to hear, but when an animal is in enough pain to crawl off and die some where, that is the option you have, unless you are within a short distance of an animal rescue centre of some kind. I once worked in a frozen food outlet, and when I was on my break, having a smoke outside, I saw a pidgeon lying in the street right out side our store. Its right wing was all mangled, and it was flapping its other wing, even though it was lying down. The frequency of its movements was becoming smaller, and smaller.

I rushed back inside my work place, hastily discarding my cigarette, and having made my way to the loading dock, I secured an ideal sized box, before heading over to the cleaning cupboard, and snagged a pair of thick gloves (because I know that some pidgeons can carry disease, and I worked around foodstuffs). I then ran back outside, in the rain, and I carefully picked up the bird, and placed it in the box, and carried it two blocks to a local animal shelter. They took it from me, and I knew that whatever needed to be done, they would do it.

I do not care whether they had to kill the little dude to save its misery, or whether they healed him and sent him on his merry way. Its the ceasation of agony which is important sometimes.

I hope that you do not take your inability to do more as a failing. You tried, you looked for it when you returned, you went into action, and it did not avail the injured party of a result, and that is sad, but it is not your fault. You did more than any of the mugs who just stood and watched, and walked away. You cared, and that is worth more to the world than you can possibly know.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 06:06 PM
There's an org here in San Diego called Raptor Rescue that was recently called by my dad to scoop up a baby owl that fell out of its nest. You may want to look into similar orgs in your area and enter them into your phone's address book just in case you face something like this again.

When I was a teenager, I was out skateboarding, and found a crow huddled in a gutter. It was still alive, so I scooped it up in my shirt and skated like a mile home. I wasn't sure what to do either, so I set up a little place for it to live in the backyard. The next day, it could hobble around but not fly. I was lucky, though, that there wasn't anything seriously wrong with it. In your case, there may have been nothing you could do, if it had some internal problem and was looking for a place to die.

Another time, I found a Humbolt squid washed up on the beach, and it was still alive. I was able to get it to the water, where it started breathing and swam away. It occured to me that it may have beached itself for a reason, and probably did it again somewhere else later.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 06:15 PM
You sound like a caring person, sometimes rare it seems.

I have found my share of injured or sick birds and other critters. I know it's best to let them be. It's hard to though, but it is nature and the way of things. I have moved them to a quiet spot in the yard, maybe sunny if it's chilly, maybe shady if it's hot. I've put water near them in case they have the strength to drink. Maybe some type of appropriate food nearby, just in case they aren't actually dying but stunned or something. And I let them be.

I took an injured bird to a wildlife center, and they told me they would euthanize the bird. I felt so guilty, as I was thinking the bird would rather die outside in nature, touching the Earth, then in a cold hard room, put to sleep.

On another note, I wonder what it was that triggered such a response from you, if that is not your normal response. Maybe the bird is a symbol of some aspect in your life or self that needs attending to. It might be worth meditating on this.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 06:56 PM


I took an injured bird to a wildlife center, and they told me they would euthanize the bird. I felt so guilty, as I was thinking the bird would rather die outside in nature, touching the Earth, then in a cold hard room, put to sleep.

That's not fair.. Why does life have to be so cruel sometimes?

On another note, I wonder what it was that triggered such a response from you, if that is not your normal response. Maybe the bird is a symbol of some aspect in your life or self that needs attending to. It might be worth meditating on this.

The worst part was just watching the people stand there, like the bird was someone else's problem, something to be looked at briefly before going back to shopping. I keep thinking about Kitty Genovese, how all them folks watched her die, did nothing. I keep thinking about how that bird did nothing to deserve it's fate. It's just a bird. All it's ever done is eat fish, and fly around, a thing of beauty, something natural. Not something to die hidden somewhere, to be found when it's smell gets too bad, and then it's just another piece of trash. It didn't deserve it to die in a parking lot, or in some crevice of the outside of the supermarket.

I wish I had done more. My best wasn't good enough.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 07:16 PM
Very sorry.

Your ability to paint a picture is made my heart ache with you.
To be honest I thought Simon Pegg was writing his next opening script for a movie.

I'll share my story
When I was 20.. I came across a baby bird in the garden..its feathers were still was struggling because it could not fly and it was a 90° day.
I felt the poor little thing was in need of I hurried to get cool water and a lunged upward to feed on the water..
Suddenly in what appears to be a fear induced stroke or heart attack.( omg the cold sweat over came as i thought i drowned it) its little's eyes went from a polished glass flat a crystal was now died.

I'm 39 now...but I will not forget that image...
I saw that bird die.

But in your case..your bird may have gained strength and fly away to safety and healed....

You did not at least tried to get a star!

edit on 30-1-2014 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-1-2014 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 07:38 PM
Next time friend, you'll be there for a suffering creature who needs care. This time your compassionate soul had to learn a valuable lesson, the hard way.

I feel your pain, from similar experiences. I now try to live in the absolute moment, being carefully aware of life's spontaneity and synchronicity.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 08:33 PM
Don't involve yourself in the affairs of wildlife in a one-on-one fashion. Animals die. I raise chickens and I can tell you that when a bird is sick or injured, it's dying. There's no helping it. Good thought though. As far as other injured wildlife goes, if it's a reptile you'll probably see a recovery. Small mammals die, bigger ones will bite you and carry disease. Baby mammals, foxes are about the smallest you can go, will usually survive and make a good pet. Or tear your sofa to shreds and poop everywhere. It's best to just leave wild animals to their free existence.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 08:48 PM

Don't involve yourself in the affairs of wildlife in a one-on-one fashion. Animals die. It's best to just leave wild animals to their free existence.

The alternative to involving myself in the affairs of the bird was to ignore it's suffering. It didn't have much of a free existence, wracked with palpable pain, not in nature but instead a goddamned parking lot.

I couldn't just ignore it. I had to at least try. There was a chance! You sound like you're advocating how those other people acted, just walking off. It wasn't their problem. They weren't dying in a publix parking lot. They weren't out of their natural habitat, writhing around, the indignation of it.

Maybe animals die, but they don't have to die today. It can be postponed, made less savage, something. Anything. If a creature is suffering, do something. Do involve yourself. There's no reason to be so cold as to walk past an animal in pain and ignore it.
People can be really cruel sometimes, by omission of action.

posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 09:39 PM
Nature is funny... it was here before it survived somehow...
You chose to help...good for least it shows you are not heartless.

posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 10:09 AM
reply to post by Grifter42

What if it was a snake? Or a badger? Would you have been so willing to help? It was a nice gesture and you have a big heart. I respect that. But I can tell you as a person who has grown up with and is surrounded by nature, stay out of the affairs of wild animals. Think about it like this. If you had been dying in a publix parking lot, that bird would have no issue eating your eyeballs.

posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:00 AM
It's in the nature of a bird to hide its illness or injury until it absolutely can't anymore. By the time you can tell that it's in a bad way, it's very sick indeed. The odds that anyone would have been able to do anything to help it are very slim, especially if there was no visible injury keeping it from flying away. I know that probably doesn't make you feel better, but about the only thing anyone likely could have done for it is put it out of its misery had you gotten it help.

I do understand that impulse to help, and I also know how annoying it is to see something sick and surrounded by people who aren't willing to just take some responsibility to help, but they'll stand around and watch all day. I ran into it with a sick kitten once.

posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by TruthSeekerMike

You haven't experienced Good Samaritan until you've stopped to help someone move a big old snapping turtle off the road. Nothing says glutton for punishment like that!

posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:32 PM

reply to post by Grifter42

What if it was a snake? Or a badger? Would you have been so willing to help?

As a teenager, I found a skunk on the side of the road. It had been hit by a car and was clearly brain damaged and twitching. I said a prayer to no entity in particular and crushed its skull with a rock. It took 2 hits. I felt it was the most merciful thing I could do, but still felt awful about it.

posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 04:06 PM
I hate to see animals suffering too.
You do what you can. But you can't do everything.
Can't tell you how many critters I have helped successfully, and unsuccessfully.
I still feel ok about both, because at least I tried, as did you.

I umm also noticed you bought Fried Chicken..Just thought I would mention that.

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