MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — It took wildlife experts at the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Hamilton Township less than ten minutes to find out if an injured barred owl broke any of its bones. Luckily, it didn't. Staff learned that so quickly because of the center's new X-ray machine.
"The vet that they worked with here is an hour and 10 minutes, so it's stressful on the animal, to and from, and then typically when they do find a break, and they do need to do surgical intervention, you have to take it back, and it's not done the same day. So, if we're able to run radiographs here and then send those images to the doctor, they could just schedule the surgery," said Janine Tancredi, the co-director at the wildlife center.
Since getting the machine, nearly a dozen animals have been X-rayed. Tancredi says they are the first wildlife center in the region to have an X-ray machine, saving them thousands.
"When we're taking things in as often as we are, they give a discount. So it can range anywhere from $150 if they give you a discount up to $500 or $600, and that's for one animal for one set. Some people were asking. 'Why do you need an X-ray machine?' It's a $10,000 machine. It's probably going to pay itself off within six months."
Tancredi says the machine will come in handy during one of their busiest times of the year: Baby animal season.
"It's not only testing for fractures, but it also can see lead, but it can also see blockages. There are a lot of things; it can see cancers, the air in the lungs — a lot of things an X-ray can see that we wouldn't be able to see."
As the center prepares for baby season, it needs formula donations.
"We can't feed babies regular milk. They get diarrhea, they get sick, and they die. Every specific formula for them is a certain protein and a certain fat ratio, so it's specifically geared to them," explained clinic manager Kat Schuster.
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