By Andrew Macdonald
Further to our special journalism feature published Sunday on The Killing Of Pugwash Pet Crow, which Jill Mundle’s nine-year-old daughter, Mya named him Konjo – meaning beautiful, I asked Hope for Wildlife’s Hope Swinimer the age span of a crow.
“Only about 10% of birds live through the first year of life”, says Hope.
“But if they get through the first year, I think a crow can live up to 20-years in the wild. I think the oldest was 29″, adds Hope.
Now, on August 21st, CBS moved a touching item of a seagull a fishing captain had befriended over a 15-year period out on the waters of the American Eastern Seaboard. The seagull became injured and the Maine lobster fisherman rescued it, and a stronger bond has resulted between the gull and the captain.
This seagull fared a whole lot better than Pugwash crow, Konjo. Konjo was killed last week, a day after its caregiver was ready to send it off to Hope for Wildlife. A Lands & Forestry wildlife officer, out of the Oxford district office shot it dead with a 22 rifle after Konjo landed on his hands to greet this new human face. The problem: the government wildlife officer shot a pet crow raised by Jill Mundle’s family, who rescued the crow as a fledgling from a near-fatal raccoon attack on its nest in June. The raccoon killed its siblings and parents, according to Mundle.
Here is the Aug. 21st, 2020 news item reported by CBS:
Captain forms bond with seagull he saved while out at sea
It can be a lonely job — pulling lobster traps — way out in the middle of the Gulf of Maine. But for 15 years, Captain John Makowsky had company — a faithful companion. In fact, he says maybe a little too faithful.
“She comes right up to the window and looking at me this far away,” said Makowsky, as he puts his hand to his face and starts laughing. “Just staring at me.”
Makowsky’s stalker “gull-friend,” who he named Red Eye, showed up one day in 2005 and basically never left, until a few months ago when Red Eye suffered a leg injury. He knew a seagull couldn’t live long like that.
“How hard was it for him?” CBS News asked Makowsky’s wife, Debbie.
“Oh, very, very difficult,” she responded. “To watch John and see how sad he was. I could tear up right now.”
“I don’t know why I was so emotionally crushed, but it was a piece missing. I was beginning to wonder how much longer I felt like doing this,” John said.
So in an attempt to save his passion for the sea, he tried to save that seagull. He actually caught her and brought her to the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine. The staff nursed Red Eye while John spoiled her with Brown Hake — her favorite kind of fish.
And would you believe just a few weeks later, Red Eye was good as new. Earlier this month, John released the bird back into the wild. Of course, “the wild” was never really Red Eye’s thing, which is why, still today, no matter where John is in this great ocean, Red Eye somehow finds him.
For centuries, boat captains have believed seagulls carry the souls of lost sailors. And for this fourth-generation lobsterman, that is a comforting thought; that maybe Red Eye is an ancestor looking out for him.
But John says it’s more about something far less mystical. It’s about the purpose that is found whenever one living creature truly needs another.
For the actual CBS video news item on the fishing captain and his special friendship with the seagull, click here: