Love for Lindsay Wildlife Campaign Stories

Giving in Memory of Diablo

My name is Jan Bindas, and I am a dedicated volunteer with Lindsay Wildlife as well as a donor to the Love for Lindsay Wildlife Campaign. I was motivated to donate in memory of Diablo, our beloved turkey vulture, that I had the privilege and great joy of knowing for 29 of his 32 years at Lindsay Wildlife. I got to spend many precious hours with him over the years both as a member of the Friday raptor team, and throughout his life with us. To say that he was special to me would be an understatement. He was a dear friend, my heart connection. Of course, he would never miss an opportunity to try to nip me with his beak if the moment presented itself, and he got great pleasure whenever he was successful in doing so. He kept me on my toes and taught me to be ready for anything. I especially treasured our walks in Larkey Park when he was on the ground with a long, light cord (creance) attached to the jesses on his legs, which enabled him to walk wherever he wished. I tossed pieces of mice in various spots where it was up to him, with his excellent sense of smell, to find them. He particularly liked hunting for them under piles of leaves. Many families got to know Diablo on these walks and were able to see the beauty of turkey vultures and how unique they are. After all, there were many Diablo stories to share with the most often asked question being “Why does he only have one wing?” He was an amazing wildlife ambassador. People learned many things from Diablo, although he never spoke a word: be kind to wildlife, accept whatever comes your way, have tolerance, and enjoy life.

I loved Diablo and always will. He taught me many things over those years. First and foremost, he taught me to take life as it comes: the good and the not so good, happy or sad; to make the best of everything and that laughter really is the best medicine; to focus on the good; that friendship is built on trust and a good friend is always there for you and silently has your back when you need it the most. He was always there for me in both happy and sad times. And I was there for him.  We were there for each other. He was my heart, and he always had my back. He was my best friend.

Diablo was the reason I began to donate to Lindsay Wildlife. Initially it was in honor of him, and now it is in his memory. I have always specifically requested that my donation in his name went to support our wildlife ambassadors. After all, Diablo spent 32 wonderful years with us. What better way to recognize him than to support the needs of our extraordinary wildlife ambassadors?

Diablo will continue to live on in the hearts of all who loved him and in my favorite memories of our time together. He was truly one in a million. You will always be missed, my dear friend, but will forever be a part of Lindsay Wildlife.

I’m grateful that I was able to honor Diablo and celebrate the friendship we had through the Love for Lindsay Wildlife Campaign. Please join me by making a donation today to help us reach our $250K goal. If you haven’t donated yet, there is still time. Click here to make your gift.

A Volunteer's Story

My name is Carolyn Knoll, and I am proud to be a Lindsay Wildlife Experience volunteer and also a member of the Love for Lindsay Wildlife Campaign Committee. I am committed to the success of LWE and the campaign because I have been a lifelong animal lover.

My mother’s family were ranchers in Lompoc, California, for years and, after the Depression, my grandfather worked for what is today CalTrans. He was part of the team that built the highways in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

As a result of her childhood, my mother loved the national parks and anything wild and beautiful. We always had pets when I was a child and visited the parks often.

One summer years ago, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, a sparrow fell out of its nest that was built every year in the rafters of our outside patio. My mother thought that its mother would never accept the little bird if it had been handled by humans. She had learned that when she was young and we really didn’t know any differently at the time.

I insisted on taking care of the little bird until it got better which happened quickly in about a week or so. We called my grandparents who had a really big backyard because we wanted to release it where it had lots of open space. Little did we know that the best place to release it was where we found it.

My grandmother was all for it but, when we arrived, my grandfather was not happy because he didn’t want to take care of it. We assured him that he wouldn’t have to. The bird had different ideas.

It would tap on the kitchen window once or twice a day and my grandfather grumbling all the while would go out on the porch and feed that little bird from his hand. This went on for several years until the bird stopped showing up.

I have had other experiences with wildlife as I have gotten older but this incident made such a huge impression on my life. I can still see, in my mind’s eye, my grandfather sitting on his back porch feeding the little bird from his hand.

I want to thank all of you who have donated to the Love for Lindsay Wildlife Campaign. Thanks to you, we have raised $172,208 towards our $250,000 goal. If you haven’t donated yet, there is still time. Click here to make your gift.