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Hawks rescued from the heat wave to be released in Oklahoma

Mississippi kite fledglings suffered from the Oklahoma heat and drought but were saved at the WildCare Foundation and will be released next month.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY Published: August 29, 2011

Director Annette Tucker, who operates the Wild Heart Ranch with co-founder Sandy Brooks, said she normally sees 20 fawns every summer but has treated 40 this year.

“The animals are coming in this year in much worse condition than in the past,” Tucker said.

She got one call about a fox that was having seizures.

“We used to look at that as the animal is diseased, but not this year,” Tucker said.

“This year is different.”

In Enid, wildlife rehabilitator Julie Miller said she helped save about 40 Mississippi kites this summer, many more than usual.

She said usually the parents will stay near the young on the ground to protect them until the little ones learn to fly, but this year the adult birds are abandoning the young, unable to feed them.

The baby birds are rehydrated by shooting fluids beneath their skin to restore electrolytes.

Then they eat a special raptor food. Large's husband, O.T. Sanders, made a trip to Nebraska to buy raptor food when local supplies ran out.

Large said the rescues were a big strain on her resources, but she had help from 25 volunteers.

WildCare usually rescues such animals as squirrels, opossums, raccoons, owls, eagles, deer and river otters, which had to be treated and quickly released to deal with the kite volume.

Large said some animals that can't be saved must be euthanized.

None of the animals are adopted out to the public as pets.