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Cook Plant employees rally to assist distressed wildlife

by on February 25, 2014
Once revived, the distressed ducks are brought back to Cook Plant and released among friends in the plant absorption pond. Photo by Kyra Richter.
 

This winter certainly has taken its toll on all of us. The cold, snow and ice have seemed to come in relentless waves. Knowing how each trip outside makes us feel, one can only imagine what it’s been like for area wildlife.

Cook Plant Environmental Supervisor Kyra Richter assists a struggling duck at the plant site. Photo by Scott Rose.

Their normal food, water and shelter have been minimized or eliminated and the shortages are taking their toll. At AEP’s Cook Nuclear Plant, an increasing number of water fowl and animals have been found around the 650-acre site showing signs of severe distress.

But help is available. Cook Environmental Supervisor Kyra Richter and others in her group are coming to the rescue.

“We’re getting a steady stream of calls about distressed animals,” said Richter. “You can tell they are really hurting because in many cases, the ducks are allowing us to walk right up to them and pick them up.”

Richter worked with Kip Wells, a biologist at the Love Creek Nature Center, and two bird rehabilitators who agreed that she was qualified to try and help. So she established what she calls, “The Richter Home for Tired and Confused Ducks” in her house.

Another site resident, a raccoon, has found that the warming huts at the plant road security check-point make a nice place for a nap. It even climbs up on top of a ladder to be closer to the heater. Photo by Dave Lefor.

With her bathtub serving as a warm and sheltered pond, some cedar chips for a nest and cracked corn to eat, the sickly ducks are quickly recovering, usually in a night or two. Once revived, she brings them back to the plant and releases them among friends in the plant absorption pond.

Another site resident, a raccoon, has found that the warming huts at the plant road security check-point make a nice place for a nap. It even climbs up on top of a ladder to be closer to the heater. Since a raccoon in the wild is not an animal that you should approach without precaution, the Environmental group has had to make several trips out to the check-point. They carefully ease the raccoon back to the woods and reclaim the warming hut for its intended inhabitants – security officers.

It has to get warmer and quit snowing sometime … doesn’t it? In the meantime, the Cook Environmental group is helping to bridge the gap to spring for a few neighbors in need.

From → News From AEP

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