Wildlife in the Kitchen: ... and Other Great Animal Tales (Amazing Stories (Altitude Publishing))

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9781554390083: Wildlife in the Kitchen: ... and Other Great Animal Tales (Amazing Stories (Altitude Publishing))
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Every year, thousands of wild animals across Canada are injured or orphaned. While many perish in the harsh conditions of their natural habitat, some survive and thrive thanks to the compassionate individuals who rescue and rehabilitate our nation's wildlife. From caring for baby birds and raccoons to ensuring the safety of beluga whales and polar bears, these special Canadians have opened their hearts and sometimes their homes to animals in need. Roxanne Willems Snopek has collected some of their heartwarming stories.

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About the Author:

Roxanne Willems-Snopek lives and writes in Abbotsford, British Columbia, surrounded by her family and a variety of dogs, cats, birds, and fish. The human-animal bond is a recurring topic in her writing, which includes fiction and non-fiction.

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By the time she was dropped off at the wildlife shelter it was too late. Dried blood stained her bristly white guard hairs, matting the dark fur below. The lips above the long narrow muzzle were pulled back in a final grimace, exposing daunting canine teeth. She was a young opossum, hit during a nocturnal roadside ramble by a passing motorist. She'd dragged herself to cover at the side of the road but it was probably hours before a kind-hearted Samaritan found her and rushed her to the shelter. Now, as early morning sunshine streaked the sky, the last spark of life left her broken body. Elizabeth laid her out on a soft towel and examined her quickly. Time was, after all, of the essence. The prehensile tail lay still, its furless skin cool to the touch. Eyes once dark and glistening now stared sightlessly, half-closed and dull. The woman manipulated the limbs, now flopping limply, felt through the fur over the soft, still-warm abdomen, searching, probing. There. That's what she was looking for. Through a vertical opening in the opossum's belly, she felt a quiver of movement: babies. They'd survived the impact. She gently removed them from their mother's body and laid them in a warming basket, tiny pink hairless creatures no bigger than mice. She shook her head. They were living embryos, needing the warmth, security, and rich milk found within their mother's pouch for several more weeks at least. Could she give them what they needed? Or would they suffer the same fate as their mother? She gave a last stroke to the dead mother and turned her attention to the living. She'd done it before. With any luck,she'd do it again. But these babies were so young; could any ofthem become strong enough to make it back to the wild? All she could do was try.

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