When you work in any facet of animal rescue, you hear stories. Often, the worst stories — one-act plays with bad endings. You wonder why on earth this storyteller decided you were the person who needed to hear it. I’ve learned that if an anecdote opens with, “Have I got a raccoon story for you . . . ” it won’t be pretty.
That’s why a tale like Noah’s was such a welcome circular in my email box. When I say circular, I mean it literally. News of Noah’s charitable act has circled the globe. And if you’re on any animal mailing lists, you’ve probably received Noah’s story, maybe even more than once.
In short, Noah is a one-legged, rescued homing pigeon who performed a beautiful feat of cross-species nurturing — and saved little rabbits in the process. Noah’s rescuers at Wild Rose Rescue Ranch in Texas have the full story, accompanied by photos of Noah and his adopted brood. Definitely click through to their page if you don’t know this tale.
Wild Rose Rescue Ranch is a non-profit dedicated to the rescue and release of injured or orphaned wild animals. As Noah can attest, they don’t turn their backs on any animal in need, wild or domestic. It’s because of this benevolent policy that Wild Rose came to meet Noah, a disabled domestic pigeon. And it’s because of Noah that more people have come to learn about these incredible birds, so often maligned by us modern humans.
I’ve written it before but will continue to lavish praise on pigeons. Pigeons (or rock doves) are not only among the most intelligent of animals, showing self-awareness and complex understanding of tasks, they’ve also served and sacrificed for us since Roman times. They’ve been celebrated for delivering messages from the battlefield, have place of honor at the Smithsonian, ran ancient intercity airmail, and were almost trained to guide missiles — yes, by none other than BF Skinner.
Noah’s story brings to light yet another, more peaceful pigeon talent: that of surrogate parent and interspecies communicator. I was in touch with one of the founders of Wild Rose Rescue Ranch, Georganne Adams-Lenham who told me about the upcoming book release of Noah’s story. Wild Rose Rescue Ranch also just launched a new website where you can get more information about their organization and the work they do. My thanks go out to people like the Lenhams who work for the well-being of those earthlings least appreciated. In this case, one exceptional pigeon named Noah.