ECC NEWS » Category » Wildlife

Gothamist covers ECC rescue of slaughterhouse duck
January 25, 2014


On January 21st, Gothamist featured the work of Empty Cages and one of our newest friends: "A plucky duck escaped her dinner plate fate last week by fleeing the Bushwick poultry market where she had been confined. The handsome brunette is believed to have broken free from her cage at Doubau Live Poultry on St. Nicolas Avenue, seeking refuge behind a nearby building amidst "garbage and dead Christmas trees" for nearly a week before animal rescue group Empty Cages Collective were tipped off to the refugee's hiding place. "The duck was starved and dehydrated when we finally got to her," the non-profit tells us. "But she should make a full recovery." Instead of the cramped, hectic and deadly atmosphere of the slaughterhouse, the duck will live out her days at the Indraloka Farm Animal Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, a farmed animal sanctuary run by a group of vegans, naturally. There she'll frolic in the fields free from fear with the likes of Lucy the flightless goose and Sheba the pea hen. Quite the upgrade!"

Simon Says "Thanks!"
August 19, 2008

Close-up Injured foot
Sometimes for animals in need, it's about being in the right place at the right time.

A few days ago, two Empty Cages Collective (ECC) volunteers were returning from releasing (now spayed and neutered) feral cats back to their home colonies in Bushwick. When only a few blocks away from the recovery space, a little feathered body laying on the side of street caught one of their eyes. After closer investigation, it was became clear that the bird in question wasn't just resting - he needed help!

The poor pigeon, who we've named Simon, was badly injured. Simon's feet and legs were so severely entangled and embedded with trash in the form of string, he was unable to walk or stand. He was suffering immensely as the string constricted blood flow and was now responsible for an infection in his limbs. Poor Simon couldn't even manage to forage for food and was slowly starving to death from the entangled mess. It seemed when the ECC volunteers found him, he was just waiting to die ignored and alone.

Lucky for Simon, ECC volunteers quickly rescued him and took him to our avian veterinarian. Dr. Pilny was able to remove all of the litter from Simon's swollen feet. Now, he is receiving foot soaks in Betadine solution to help his wounds heal and some old-fashioned rest and relaxation. His prognosis for recovery is good and if all goes well, he should be able to return to the skies of Brooklyn very soon.

Raccoon Rights
August 19, 2008

Rocky you met your match...
Navigating an urban environment and surviving is often no easy feat for wild animals like raccoons, opossums, squirrels and others. Cars, cruel humans, toxins, development, and intolerance all take their toll on the wild animals who refuse to allow civilization to get the better of them. Each interaction we have with wildlife leaves an opportunity to practice consideration, compassion and respect for our wild neighbors.

Unfortunately, on May 15th, the opportunity to forge a more compassionate attitude towards the creatures who share the five boroughs with us, was lost with the life of a sleepy raccoon. The New York Post reported in Coonskin Capped: E. Side Critter Killed By Cops that police officers attempting to capture a raccoon who was resting in a tree on the Upper East Side terrorized, injured, and eventually sent the raccoon to her death. After police severely injured the raccoon with darts (and joked about harpooning her in front of the public), the dazed animal was taken to Animal Care & Control where she was killed.

The need to capture a raccoon who was simply resting in a tree and showing no signs of abberant behavior is beyond questionable, it's silly. It's common for mother raccoons to be seen during the day - especially when they have young in the nest. The Empty Cages Collective was so distressed by the treatment of this raccoon that we fired off a letter to the editor to the New York Post trying to set the record straight. The letter read:

The recent handling and killing of the raccoon on the Upper East Side ( Coonskin Capped: E. Side Critter Killed By Cops - 5/16/2008 ) is beyond offensive. Raccoons are intelligent, sensitive creatures who deserve our admiration for successfully surviving in this concrete jungle, not abuse and violence.

Justifying unnecessary cruelty due to antiquated fears about rabies would be laughable if it wasn't so common. Healthy mother raccoons sometimes nap in trees or forage during the day when they have nursing and dependent young during this time of year. The officers didn't just "harpoon" a raccoon, but likely orphaned a litter of babies who will now die of starvation, dehydration or exposure for no good reason.

Raccoons and humans can coexist - even in New York City. Tolerance, understanding and thoughtfulness can help solve human/wildlife conflicts without bloodshed. The NYPD and Animal Care & Control would do well to start acting on that fact.

For the sake of the other raccoons who call NYC, we hope attitudes and policies evolve so wild animals don't continue to suffer and die unnecessarily due to fear and ignorance.

back to NEWS