A Little Compassion
So I saved a life yesterday. Granted it wasn’t a wounded soldier. It wasn’t even a civilian, but it was a life nonetheless.
There is a burn barrel not far from our building where classified materials are destroyed and people can burn pieces of mail with addresses and such on it. It is not for burning trash. However, that didn’t seem to stop someone from burning plastic and cans in it. Such substances produce toxic fumes and carbon monoxide that are poisonous to people as well as animals.
The owl was found unconscious on the ground in a room where the fumes had built up, the smoke from the smoldering barrel drifting into the area. A member of our platoon familiar with raptors found it and thought it was dead, but it woke up and was very confused and uncoordinated. He took it out into the air and was trying to get it recovered when I saw him. The poor bird was wobbly and barely able to stand. He tried to get it to fly and it sort of glided, then crashed falling off of an object he should have easily landed on.
I watched for a few minutes to see if the bird would recover, and it wasn’t doing very well. I thought it would be a shame if the owl died from exposure to toxic fumes because of someone’s negligence. I asked him if he would like to try giving the owl oxygen. I said it couldn’t hurt. So we took the bird into the medic supply shed. *I found a used bottle of oxygen with about half left in it. **I grabbed an oxygen mask and put the bird on “blow-by” oxygen at 15 liters. As it turns out a mask will fit over an owl’s face perfectly, almost as if it were made for it....
Go read the rest of this here. 'Nuff said!