An orphaned two-day-old elk was delivered to Helen Jameson’s Blewett farm earlier this month after being mauled by dogs. Now named Misty, the energetic ungulate is expected to make a full recovery and return to the wild by October.
“She was badly chewed up and full of maggots when they brought her in, some people from the valley,” said Jameson. “As much as I dislike maggots, I had to fish them out with my finger. I kept on and on, put some medication and some fly spray on the wound. She didn’t have much get up-and-go when she got here, but now she’s doing much better.”
Misty was energetic and friendly when the Star visited Monday afternoon along with Save-On-Foods assistant manager Greg Wheaton. Thirstily slurping back a bottle full of milk, the playful elk roamed around her pen and mugged happily for the camera.
Her wound these days is blackened and scabbed over, and according to Jameson, Misty now has a shot at a normal life. When the time is right, she’ll be integrated into another elk herd with calves of a similar age.
This is all in a day’s work for Jameson, who has been working with injured and vulnerable wildlife for 46 years. Recently she lost her husband Syd, and has been continuing the work they did together.
“I’ve been taking care of this stuff, voluntarily, and so far I haven’t found anyone else who’s interested. A lot of people like it, but you’re too tied down. For me, though, I’ve got nowhere else to go.”
This is the third year in a row Save-On will raise funds to provide her animal tenants with the sustenance they need.
And this year another local wildlife lover has gotten involved —photographer Jim Lawrence.
“I was talking on the phone with Jim some time ago, and he loves bears and wildlife,” said Jameson. “He said he’d like to be involved, and then told me ‘I’ll donate a picture.’”
Wheaton said the image will go to a lucky shopper during the Save-On Foods fundraiser on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A booth will be set up which pictures of Jameson’s animals, and shoppers will be given a chance to donate funds that will go towards purchasing goat’s milk.
Lawrence’s picture will be one of a number of prizes Nelson residents can win during that time.
“I got involved with Helen a couple of years ago. She needed help for her animals, and lots of milk, and it seems like this is what Nelson residents want to be part of. The first year was a big hit and last year was even more successful,” he said.
In both cases Jameson was able to get enough milk to keep her animals happy and healthy until they were ready to be re-released into the wild.