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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:23PM

Please, don’t shoot wood storks

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Wood Stork

By Robin Jenkins, DVM

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Here at Peace River Wildlife Center, our primary mission is to rehabilitate orphaned and injured native Florida wildlife. One of the ways we try to keep wildlife safe is through education. Yes, we try to explain to the tortoises that if they continue to creep across major thoroughfares, they will continue to be run over by creeps in cars — just joking. We find that a slightly more successful approach is to educate people. We instruct fishermen to avoid cutting snagged lines and leaving them dangling in foliage where birds may get entangled in them. We explain how a rescuer can return a baby bird to its nest so the parents can continue to care for it. We plead with people to stop feeding wildlife highly inappropriate things (If you have too many hot dogs on hand from your last BOGO expedition, I prefer the turkey dogs on a nice fresh bun with a little ketchup and mustard. But please don’t feed hot dogs or bread to wild birds!)

It has come to my attention that there are people out there with whom we need to have a frank discussion about the birds and the bees — figuratively speaking. I am as big a proponent of birth control as the next person, but someone in Charlotte County has taken it a bit too far. I don’t want to shock anyone or overstep my boundaries here, but I feel I must take a stand on this issue — stop reading now if you do not want to know where I am heading with this. Storks do not deliver babies. There, I said it. So shooting them out of the sky is not an acceptable way of keeping your mom and dad from bringing home another baby brother.

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