TWP bathroom. – Little tongues licking small noses like 15 petite fluffs plaited and pressed onto tall grass and sheltered in their ‘Fawn Haven’ sanctuary.
It wasn’t a Disney movie. The scene unfolded on Sheryl Connell Marsh’s property on Tuesday afternoon as she released the animals she had married for the past two months.
“I love it because it’s what it’s supposed to be,” she said. “But now I’m sad, right?”
Connell-Marsh Nottingham operates the Nature Nook, a licensed rehabilitation facility that deals with non-federally regulated mammals and birds. Specializing in foxes, deer, euthanasia and counseling, According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Connell-Marsh has been rescuing elk and other wild animals since 2013. Each October, it releases rescued elk into the wild, as required by DNR Command for Wildlife Conservation.
Early release in October is important, so the elk have time to acclimatize to the wild before winter, Casey Ritz, DNR Wildlife Division permit specialist, said in an email.
“We want them to be able to learn[how to]forage before food production starts to diminish. Releasing them in the late fall reduces their chance of survival due to the lack of available food resources,” Ritz said.
They usually give birth and start growing their nails in late May and early June, According to DNR.
Antelopes arriving in Bath city center can be extremely dehydrated and emaciated, have broken bones, and are in critical condition. Last year, Connell Marsh managed to save and fire 18 of the 50 fawns she received.
She calls elk, with nicknames like Cinderella and Bongo.
Connell Marsh was sure that Cinderella and Bongo were among the many deer that roamed the property as they released a group of elk for the year.
This year the deer are named after national parks, including Sequoia, Bryce (Bryce Canyon), Royal (Isle Royal) and Joshua (Joshua Tree). Yellowstone, in particular, stuck near Connell Marsh during her release, occasionally nibbling the corner of her jacket.
Connell Marsh described the cows as her little flock of sheep, and they sounded like her too, with soft glitches now and then. Some were a little skittish, choosing to stay in the pen called “Fawn Haven” at first while others followed the Connell Marsh into a field, their ears and tails trembling.
She spends hours, sometimes all afternoon, with deer on release day. She cannot provide food for them after their release, according to the regulations, but they often remain near them, bedding in her property.
Connell Marsh rescues all kinds of animals: foxes, songbirds and squirrels. But the shades are different.
“They are so cute and sweet,” she said.
She hopes that people will see the relationships that develop between the animals and hopes that people will understand why she is involved in trying to prevent executions in her area.
USDA biologists trained in firearms have removed deer in East Lansing for the past two years under a DNR permit. The execution area included the Aquatic Center and Complex, less than a mile from the Nottingham Nature Nook at 16848 Towar Ave.
East Lansing has reduced its deer population, in part, because the city averages more than 40 deer vehicle accidents annually within the city limits and the deer population continues to grow. All the venison from the extractions was donated to the Great Lansing Food Bank, According to the city’s website.
Connell Marsh said that if she calmed down the elk and moved it elsewhere, it would be very difficult for her. She asked why?
“That is, these are the men of nature,” said Connell Marsh. “You can’t pick and choose.”
Call Bryce Airgood at 517-267-0448 or email@example.com. follow her Twitter @bairgood123.