Alert! Wildlife Poisonings


There are more humane methods to eliminate rodents

Southwest Wildlife Rehabilitation and Educational Foundation has recently received a number of coyotes suffering from Warfarin poisoning. One of the latest was found on Spur Cross Road in Cave Creek.

In humans, Warfarin is used as a powerful anticoagulant for persons at risk for forming blood clots, as in post-heart attacks or strokes. That drug is a compound known as Coumadin. With animals, however, potent forms of Warfarin are used in rodent poisons, like D/Con, in pellets or cakes. Enticing inert fillers are incorporated to draw animals to eat this poison. Large amounts are used, causing animals to bleed to death over an extended period. It causes a great deal of pain.

The poison is readily available at grocery, drug and hardware stores. When people set these cakes or pellets out, they think this poisons only the target animals. But damage to wildlife and pets occurs, in addition to potentially threatening children. Remember this is tasty stuff. So, the coyote (or your dog or cat) eats the poisoned mouse or packet. When it dies, vultures and other scavengers eat it, and they die. 

The effects are far-reaching going up the chain, each one poisoning the next link. Organs bleed and the scent draws other animals. The scavengers in turn eat those. The poison destroys the clotting factor and this effect can last up to 20 days, post-exposure.

Rodenticides are sold under a large number of trade names. A few of the common chemical names of anticoagulant Rodenticides are: Chlorophacinone Bromadiolone, Warfarin Diphacinone, Brodifacoum, Coumatetraly, Pindone, and Valone.

The humane alternative to poisons is the use of multi-catch rodent traps. These can be purchased at most feed stores; they are inexpensive and easy to use. After trapping, the rodents may be relocated. Another alternative is to hire a company licensed to humanely live trap and relocate. If you have trouble finding help with live traps or companies licensed to relocate trapped rodents, please give Southwest Wildlife a call at 480-471-9109.

Southwest Wildlife has received multiple species with this poisoning method – javelina, coyotes, foxes, ringtails, bobcats, raccoons, hawks and owls. They mostly have to be euthanized. The effects can only be reversed if caught very early, and of course, none of these animals would let you near unless they were already quite sick.

Even if discovered early, it would take three weeks of Vitamin K injections at six separate spots on the body each day to possibly arrest it. When one of the coyotes was brought in to a veterinarian, they were working on a cocker spaniel that had ingested the poison. Adding insult to injury, Warfarin does not break down in the environment. Do we remember the devastation of DDT?

These nasty incidents are increasing in number, and we need to address the problem now. Check your area and discuss it with your neighbors and homeowners associations. Alert everyone around and inform people of the danger to children and pets; also, remind them of the horrendous potential liability connected with accidental poisoning. There are many places that carry humane traps or companies that you can call to trap and release away from populated areas. For more information just give us a call.

As rodents have built up tolerance for rodenticides, man has made them increasingly more deadly, further endangering our environment. Predators such as coyotes, bobcats, ringtails, raccoons, owls, hawks, etc., control the rodent population and keep the environment in healthy balance. Nature can flourish without man but man cannot survive without nature.
Southwest Wildlife Rehabilitation & Educational Foundation Inc.
Phone: 480-471-9109

Article first published April 1999

Navajo Code Talkers to attend Parade

ANTHEM, AZ – Oct. 17, 2011 – Six members of the Navajo Code Talkers who served with the U.S. Marines in the Pacific during World War II have agreed to participate in the 7th Annual Daisy Mountain Veterans Parade in Anthem on November 12. George Willie Sr., Peter MacDonald, Samuel Tsosie Sr., Alfred Peaches, Sidney Bedoni and Arthur Hubbard (age 100!) will serve as honorary Grand Marshals.

Following a strategic landing by a Blackhawk helicopter, the Daisy Mountain Veterans Parade will step off promptly from King Drive and Gavilan Peak Parkway. Almost 100 units and more than 2000 marchers will participate. The theme this year is “Arizona History” in recognition of our state’s 100th anniversary. The parade has, in fact, been named an Official Arizona Centennial Event, one of a very select group of functions to earn that designation.

The Navajo Code Talkers were used as radiomen communicating in their native language to confuse the Japanese. The belief that the enemy wouldn’t be able to decipher their messages proved justified, since the Japanese later admitted that the Navajo language was the only code used by our troops that they could never break. The Code Talkers took part in every major battle of the Pacific, including Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Guam, Okinawa and Peleliu. After the war, Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, declared, “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.” Today, fewer than 50 of the 400 Code Talkers who served during World War II survive.

The experiences of George Willie Sr., 88, of Leupp, Arizona, may have been typical of the above group. Mr. Willie was inducted into the Marines in December of 1943. He completed his Code Talker training during September, 1944, and was deployed to the Pacific. Willie participated in the invasions of Saipan and Okinawa, later occupying the Japanese city of Nagasaki with the Marines after an atomic bomb was dropped there in August, 1945. He remained in Nagasaki until July of 1946, when he was honorably discharged.

The Code Talkers will be available following the parade to meet the public at “Veterans Row” in the Anthem Community Park. They have agreed to autograph the book, “Warriors, Navajo Code Talkers”, for those interested.

For more information:
Jim Oliveri, Publicity Chairman
(623) 243-7998

Pinnacle Peak Mystery Car Rally set for Sun., Nov. 13

Scavenger Hunt benefits Desert Foothills Scenic Drive, Preservation & Education Registration Deadline is Sun., Nov. 6

SCOTTSDALE – Where is the shopping center named for the top of mountains? How do you find an old stagecoach stop? What road is named after TNT? Ready for a fun adventure?

Then, gather a team to participate in the “Pinnacle Peak Mystery Car Rally” on Sun., Nov. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. throughout north Scottsdale. Hosted by Greater Pinnacle Peak (GPPA) – Friends of the Scenic Drive, this inaugural fun scavenger hunt will take you and your team to unique places amidst a magnificent desert setting.

The rally begins at Pinnacle Peak Patio, where you’ll be given an envelope containing clues that will help you decipher where the first location is.  Then, after solving the mystery and driving to that location, you’ll have to answer a question about the location.  Once the question is answered correctly, you’ll be given a poker card and a new envelope of clues to find the next location. Each clue will help you advance to the next beautiful mystery destination.

“With Arizona’s Centennial approaching, our Mystery Car Rally provides a fun way to learn about our area’s unique history and terrain. Most of us are attracted to the desert because of its beauty and mystique. We hope rally participants will leave the event with a greater appreciation for our fragile desert and an increased awareness or why preservation is so important,” said Robert Cappel, co-chairman of the event.

Are you up for the challenge?

Points will be given to the team with the most accurate time from start to finish. The team with the highest point total will be the Grand Prize winner. In addition, the team with the best Poker hand will also receive a prize during the post-rally awards ceremony.

release of a great horned owlIf you and your team work well together to solve the clues, you could win the Grand Prize and have a rare opportunity to release a Great Horned Owl back to the wild that evening, courtesy of the local non-profit, Wild At Heart. Or, if you have the best poker hand, you could be the lucky winners of a dining gift certificate to The Herb Box.

Of course, you’ll build up an appetite working hard to solve the clues, so event organizers planned the Mystery Car Rally route to end where it began, at the popular Pinnacle Peak Patio.

“Pinnacle Peak Patio is an important part of local history and the perfect place to celebrate after the rally ends at 4 p.m.,” said Ken Melnick, event co-chair. “We’ll be hosting our awards ceremony there for participants along with a free door prize drawing, and an optional delicious barbecue dinner, complete with your choice of steak or chicken, salad, cowboy beans, a baked potato, rolls, coffee or tea and apple pie. A cash bar will also be available.”

All members of your team must be registered to participate, and because there is a limit on the numbers of teams that can participate, early registration is encouraged with the final cut-off date of Sunday, November 6th.

Tickets for the “Pinnacle Peak Mystery Car Rally” are $25 per person; free for children ages 12 and under. The rally registration fee is a tax-deductible donation to Greater Pinnacle Peak Association (GPPA) and includes the rally, awards ceremony where the Great Horned Owl will be released, and a complimentary ticket for a chance to win a valuable door prize.

Barbecue dinner tickets (optional) cost $26 per person and $12 for children ages 12 and under.

Rally participants will also have a chance to purchase raffle tickets for a 50/50 raffle and chances to win dining gift certificates, donations from local merchants, and items donated by local artists.

Payment may be made by check (payable to GPPA) or by major credit card via phone or at by clicking on Mystery Rally. Paypal payments will also be accepted.

Proceeds from the Mystery Car Rally benefit causes supported by GPPA, including the funding of an annual environmental education grant to a college-bound senior, maintenance and enhancement of the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive, and donations to the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in support of Scottsdale’s preserve, Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, which rehabilitates Sonoran mammals, and Wild at Heart, which rehabilitates Sonoran raptors.

To register, visit (click on Mystery Rally) or call the Mystery Car Rally Hot Line at (480) 580-0593 or The Peak Magazine/GPPA at (480) 361-6498.

EVENT:  “Pinnacle Peak Mystery Car Rally”
A fun scavenger hunt where teams decipher clues and drive to mystery destinations that are unique places amidst a magnificent desert setting. Participants can win several prizes, including the chance to release a Great-horned owl that is being rehabilitated by Wild at Heart.

Date: Sunday, November 13, 2011
Mystery Car Rally: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Dinner at Pinnacle Peak Patio: Starts after the rally at 4 p.m.

Location: The Mystery Car Rally starts and ends at Pinnacle Peak Patio, 10426 E. Jomax Road, in north Scottsdale. This is the same location for dinner and the awards ceremony.

Tickets: Tickets for the “Pinnacle Peak Mystery Car Rally” are $25 per person; free for children ages 12 and under. The rally registration fee is a tax-deductible donation to Greater Pinnacle Peak Association (GPPA) and includes the rally, awards ceremony where the Great Horned Owl will be released, and a complimentary ticket for a chance to win a valuable door prize.

Barbecue dinner tickets (optional) cost $26 per person and $12 for children ages 12 and under.

Registration: Early registration is encouraged with the final cut-off date of Sunday, November 6th. To register, visit or call the Mystery Car Rally Hot Line at (480) 580-0593 or The Peak Magazine/GPPA at (480) 361-6498. Proceeds benefit the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association (GPPA).