CLARK FORK, Idaho – Have you heard about “Bob?”
Bob is a great blue heron who was found crippled in North Idaho over the summer. A local non-profit took in Bob, but since the bird will never fly again, they are forced to send him to a new home.
Eventually, the plan is for Bob to wind up at a zoo in Springfield, Missouri. He is currently being housed at the American Heritage Wildlife Foundation.
How Bob is going to get to Missouri though, is unclear.
So first off, why is it called “Bob” in the first place?
Well, the rescuer that located the bird, her family has for whatever reason always called great blue herons “Bob.”
So that settles that. Bob’s gender is a mystery. Bob, could be Bobbi.
The woman who found Bob near Sagle brought Bob to the foundation in Clark Fork.
They are a non-profit that seeks to rehabilitate injured and orphaned wild animals from the Inland Northwest. There, staff found that one of Bob’s wings was permanently damaged and the bird would never fly again.
The group’s founder said permitting laws state that because of that, they cannot hang on to Bob permanently and had to find Bob a new home.
Luckily, the folks at Wonders of Wildlife Zoo in Springfield agreed to take in Bob.
For Kathleen St. Clair-McGee of the American Heritage Wildlife Foundation said the question now is how to get Bob there.
“Commercial airlines are very restrictive on the crate sizes,” she said.
Bob would probably have to make a few transfers too. Driving is a possibility, but that will be expensive. There is a timeframe from a legal standpoint, too. The looming winter does not help either.
“We’re under the gun from that standpoint,” she said. “Once we get our medical tests back, we get our import number, we have 72 hours to get the bird from here to Missouri.”
Staff said they have tentatively located someone willing to drive Bob, but it is still up in the air. The hope is not to be forced to put down Bob, but rather send him to that Missouri zoo so that he can be used for educational purposes.
“It’s very rewarding that there are so many like-minded that are so passionate and are able to provide the proper care,” St. Clair-McGee said.