email a friend iconprinter friendly iconThe Life: Kathleen Ramsay
Page [ 3 ] of 3
« Prev | 

A: Tell us about your rescue efforts. How much money and time goes into the average rescue?

KR: It really depends. We just released a mountain lion who’d been hit by a car. He ran off with over a thousand dollars in pins and plates in his leg. The cat had been in rehab for seven months. That’s 20 dollars a day in food.

A: Ever been injured on the job?

KR: I’ve had a turkey vulture kiss me on the lip. A vulture’s beak has one purpose—to rip flesh. That left a mark. But it’s still one of my favorite kisses ever. The worst was getting footed by a bald eagle. Her talons went straight through my arm. Then she squeezed at a thousand pounds of pressure, and I learned what real pain is.

A: Didn’t you also break your back trying to rescue a bobcat?

KR: The cat was a hundred feet up a tree, so I climbed up to catch him. Now, I can handle a bobcat, and I had him by his scruff when the branch broke on my way down. I fell 12 feet and exploded my last thoracic vertebra. When the paramedics finally got to me, the cat had run back up into the tree and was crouched six feet above our heads, hissing, mad as hell. My rescuers weren’t too happy about that.

A: Are releases any easier?

KR: Most animals just take off like a shot. Grizzlies can be deadly, but I’ve never seen a bear stick around. You open that cage and it’s boogie, boogie, boogie. I’ve set rattlesnakes loose and had them turn on me. Rattlesnakes hold grudges, no matter what you do.

A: And you still release them yourself?

KR: Not anymore. After 28 years, you get a little burned-out. Now we have a team for that. I still go out a few times a month, when I’m really attached to an animal—or just need an excuse to go camping.

Page [ 3 ] of 3
« Prev |