It was late last month that an endangered Carnaby’s cockatoo in Australia sustained severe burns from an active power line and was found by experts. Unfortunately, bird feathers are quite flammable, so its wings weren’t doing too well after the incident and it put the animal in grave danger in the wild.
Image Credit: Perth Zoo/YouTube
After it was rescued by local veterinarians from Perth Zoo, it became a goal to try and fix the bird’s mangled wings. Fortunately for the bird, the zoo had some leftover donor feathers that came from an already-deceased animal.
By using matchsticks and superglue while the creature was sedated under an anesthetic drug, the veterinarians were able to affix donor feathers to the injured bird, being mindful of their placement and angle so they would look natural on the bird following the surgical procedure.
“This little guy was unfortunately burned when the bird sitting next to him exploded on power lines, so we needed to replace his feathers,” veterinarian Peter Ricci explained about the bird. “He’s faring quite well, he is a young bird so he is eating quite well and he’s begging for food so he has made some great improvements so far.
The process of rebuilding bird feathers like this, known as ‘imping,’ is said to be a lot like that of applying hair extensions on humans. The procedure is applied to both domestic and wild birds as needed.
Domestic birds may require the procedure when their wings are trimmed too short for comfort, while wild birds may need them when they are found injured.
Fortunately for the injured cockatoo, it should be able to fly on its own once again in the near future. It’s currently regaining its energy and spending time at the zoo under the veterinarians’ care until it fully recuperates. Once it does, it will be sent to a sanctuary to be prepared for re-release into the wild.
Carnaby’s cockatoos are native to the Western Australian region and their numbers have severely declined over the last several decades. Perth Zoo veterinarians often treat injured cockatoos, but they do note how it’s not every day one comes in as badly injured as this one did.
Source: Perth Zoo