Quick news flash! Dramatic happenings going on in camp today.
A short while ago Jeremy was out washing a dish when he spotted a mole above ground seeming to scratch an itch on his hind leg.
They are pretty cute up close and it was a very rare treat to get to see one. But something seemed to be wrong with him. He kept clawing at the dirt as though swimming in a current and not going any where. I leaned over closer to him and found that a piece of thread was wrapped very tightly around his lower abdomen, which then had both ends of the thread knotted in some roots next to him.
Jeremy and I got into quick action mode, setting out to free the little mole from his predicament. Cutting one end of the thread free did not seem to do any good, it was wrapped too tight. We tried having me grasp him with a pad made from paper towels as these were easiest on hand, but they were not large enough to really get under and then around him.
At this point we started to worry a bit; the uncut end of thread had pulled free and he had begun to burrow away again while still having a very tightly knotted loop around his abdomen. I remembered where a small cloth towel was hanging nearby and quickly fetched it.
By rolling up half the towel, I was able to create a thick enough piece that could handle the strength of his legs while still reaching entirely around him. After wrapping him in the blanket, I was able to feel those powerful front legs pushing against my hands as he briefly fought his confinement.
The thread was almost invisible by this point after having tightened even further around his stomach and becoming hidden by fur. Jeremy was not able to see it, and so with a deft movement we transferred the mole from my grasp to his without letting the mole free.
With a gentle rearrangement of his rear legs, the thread became visible again along his side. A loud snip from the scissors and the thread popped free allowing the area it had been constricting to spread to normal dimensions again. Poor little guy, he'd looked like someone drew him with a wasp waist until we were able to get that off.
Jeremy set him down and he happily took off looking for the nearest easy dig point. He burrowed about eight inches along a tunnel and then seemed to have settled in for a well deserved rest.
We don't often get such high levels of excitement around here. Though I'm sad a lost thread found its way to harming such a cute little creature, I did enjoy having a chance to flex my veterinary skills once more. It has been a long time since I had an animal to tend to and I used to take pride in being able to tend to most of my various pet's ailments on my own. In fact, for many years I had planned on becoming a veterinarian before life's adventure changed my path.
This picture is not of our mole, we were too worried about helping ours that we never thought to take a picture until after already releasing him. Ours was the same color (though covered in mud) and approximately 6 inches in length.
<img alt="" src="http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/9629/mole.jpg" title="mole" class="alignnone" width="500" height="400" /> <strong>A common Pacific Northwest mole</strong>
Just call me Dr. Lisa
Blog entry posted by Lisa, Sep 20, 2010.