WILDLIFE HOSPITAL KEPT BUSY THIS WINTER
News Source: The Range News, September 1, 2005
Winter can be a rough time of year for wild animals, particularly the feathered kind, so it is no surprise the Koala and Wildlife Hospital, located at Beerwah, is abuzz with beautiful birds.
Liam is a brown falcon who was found injured and grounded in Tin Can Bay after he was, presumably, hit by a car. Sadly the tip of his right wing was completely broken off, leaving him unable to fly again.
Birds of prey like Liam will often find themselves in this situation at this time of year, as due to the cold there are less and less small prey items available to them.
So weakened by the lack of food, the birds are forced to hunt for prey by the roadsides. Flying in their weakened state near cars quite often leads to disaster.
Casper the grey goshawk is a gorgeous bird that was also hit by a car. He has spinal nerve damage resulting in some leg paralysis. The Koala and Wildlife Hospital is fortunate to have on staff Stacey Gelis, a veterinarian with extensive experience in treating wild birds.
Dr Gelis is confident Casper’s condition will improve and once the swelling subsides, x-rays will reveal no fractures.
“All going well, Casper should be rehabilitated and successfully reintroduced to the wild, and this is the ultimate outcome for wildlife being treated for illness or injury,” Dr Gelis said.
As for young Liam, due to his inability to fly and therefore survive in the wild, the Species Management Program Board will assess his case.
The program’s purpose is to find appropriate homes for wildlife with injuries or conditions that would prevent them from surviving in the wild. Australia Zoo will apply to keep Liam, however the Species Management Board will determine the most appropriate facility to house him.
Birds, and particularly birds of prey (AKA raptors), are susceptible to illness and injury during colder months of the year so you just might come across one looking a little worse for wear.
If you encounter a sick or injured bird, remember it is important to get him to a wildlife hospital or rehabilitation facility as soon as possible. It is important that if you are not confident to handle the bird you should contact the Koala and Wildlife Hospital’s 24-hour rescue centre on 1300 369 652.