February brought record-breaking temperatures, along with devastation and loss. People were going without electricity and hot water. People had unfathomable damage due to pipes freezing and busting. But humans weren’t the only ones that suffered in the below-freezing temperatures.
Animals that couldn’t find shelter during the winter storms were freezing. In a local Lantana community, a roadrunner was one of these animals. But thanks to the people of the local community, this majestic bird had a brighter outcome.

On the evening of February 15th, Luz Mortl saw a post on the Lantana Wildlife Facebook page. Lantana resident Brian Freeman’s dogs had spotted a roadrunner sitting along a fence, and it wasn’t moving. Brian’s kindness, compassion, and courage led him to pick it up and take it home to warm up until someone else could care for it.

After seeing the post, Mortl offered to pick up the bird and care for it. When she arrived, she said, “the bird was sitting in a laundry basket, enveloped by towels, and it had a toasty heater warming it up.” When she bent down to pick it up to put it into her pet carrier, the bird took off flying around Freeman’s house. Within two minutes, they had caught the lightning-fast bird, and she had received her name, “Bolt.”

After Mortl had brought Bolt home, Ariana Tashakkori, a Lantana animal expert, told her to reach out to Diane Leggett, a well-known wildlife rehabilitation specialist based out of Denton. Diane was able to give advice to Mortl on how to understand the bird and how to care for her.

For several days, Mortl cared for Bolt to the best of her abilities given that the supplies in the area available to care for the bird were very limited. On February 20th, Mortl made the attempt to release the bird back into the wild. However, the attempt was unsuccessful. Mortl reached out to Leggett, who asked Mortl to bring Bolt directly to her. Upon arrival, Leggett noticed that Bolt was underweight and offered to keep Bolt and feed her for a few days to get her back to health.

After only two days under Leggett’s highly experienced care, Bolt was ready to be released back into the wild for the final time. Because of the bravery and compassion of this local community, the life of this majestic bird was saved.

If you would like to learn more about Diane Leggett’s wildlife rescue, you can visit her nonprofit Facebook page, WildRescue, Inc./Rabbit Rescue.

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