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Wild and Free Pearl
Short | Linda Mclean
This short film reminds us about the needs of animals, with a special look at a friendly owl.
Clyde Hollifield is a gifted inventor, storyteller, artist, puppeteer, wise woodsman and Renaissance man. He was also a certified wildlife rehabber for 25 years, working mostly with raptors until the end of March 2007. He lives on a farm in the Western North Carolina mountains, southeast of Asheville.
Clyde tapped into his intuitive rehabbing skills when his dog Willie was nearly killed by a truck several years ago. Clyde helped Willie learn to function with only one good leg, and Willie went on to become “Dr. Willie,” a much-loved pet therapist and film star. Both the 30 second Little Pearl “Dr. Willie” and Willie himself won My Hero awards in 2006.
Clyde had many unusual, even mystical experiences with raptors in his care, and over many years of learning to do rehabilitation, he realized that some animals need a form of rehab now called “soft release.” Pinkey, a funny, orphaned screech owl baby, was one of these animals.
As an orphan with special needs, Pinkey needed extra help to become who he was meant to be. He developed a strong bond with his human "mama" Clyde, who used unorthodox rehab methods that we do not encourage others to use, at least until the federal system changes. Though conventional rehab wisdom says an imprinted bird cannot succeed on its own, thanks to Clydes intuitive methods, Pinkey truly IS wild and free.
Pinkey still visits sometimes, after long absences, calling from the trees to let Clyde and his wife Adrienne know he is still okay. Pinkey has been on his own, apparently thriving, for five years now.
Thanks to Clyde’s unusual relationship with Pinkey, we have a rare chance to see into a wild raptors intelligence and personality. We hope this glimpse into Pinkeys world inspires viewers to feel a deeper connection with and concern for screech owls, other raptors and all wildlife and also to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation.