A crowd of happy people devouring pancakes and sausages under a big tarp filled the parking lot of the Laguna Mall in Ajijic last Saturday.
As previously reported in this newspaper, the event, organized by the Lakeside Assistance Group, was to raise funds to transport used firefighting equipment from Canada to Mexico.
More than 200 people showed up for the feast, where they were able to meet their local firefighters, several of whom were cooking the breakfast. What caught my attention was, that along with the bomberos, they were able to hobnob with several wild creatures which the firemen had rescued and turned over to Proteje Fauna Silvestre, a government-approved private organization that brings mistreated, lost or hurt animals back to good health and gives them a home.
Proteje’s Vern Geiger brought a corn snake and a caracara to the breakfast and people lined up to be photographed with them.
Said Geiger, “This bird – a member of the falcon family –was rescued by firemen. It had been shot in the back with an air rifle and couldn’t fly, so they brought it to us. We took it to Pepe Magaña, the local vet, and he discovered that the pellet is lodged right up against the backbone and he was afraid to operate because he thought he might cause total paralysis. As for the snake, it’s a domestically bred corn snake. They’re normally brown but this one is bred for color. It’s a sort of living accessory for women’s clothing. All the children of Ajijic have handled it. There’s no way she would ever bite anyone.”
If you come upon a wild animal in need of help you can contact Proteje Fauna Silvestre at Lakeside Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation at (376)765-4916. And if you know of bomberos in need of fire-fighting equipment, you could call Vince Britton of American Legion Chapala Post 7 at 331-358-8944.