Released Bird Returns After Injury

Recently, a rescued rufous-winged buzzard chick was brought to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC).  He was originally cared for in our nursery and was moved to a larger cage as he steadily grew. When he was big enough to be released, keepers placed a feeding table on the ground outside his enclosure and opened the cage door – releasing him into the protected forest surrounding PTWRC. Although he left our care, the keepers regularly saw him in the trees just behind the Nursery and often heard his mewing calls. He was thriving in the wild, catching insects and small vertebrates, and never taking any of the meat the keepers continually put down for him. Around two months later, one of the keepers, Lerm, saw the buzzard by his old cage, eating the meat we continued to provide. A closer inspection revealed the bird had an injured leg. Unable to catch his own food, the buzzard was smart enough to eat the food we were providing. After discovering the debilitating injury, Lerm brought the buzzard back into his care to treat his leg, with plans to release him after recovery. The injury was nearly fully healed when Lerm entered his cage to feed him one day, but wild at heart, the bird saw his chance and escaped! Lerm still leaves a little meat out for him, but we expect the tenacious little bird will do quite well on his own.

This buzzard exemplifies just one of the many ways our keepers go above and beyond for rescued animals, both while they are in our care and after they have been released. Although the buzzard did not utilize the free meals his keepers provided after his release, they continued to provide the meat, just in case. This may have saved the young bird’s life.

Another way the keepers want to provide exceptional care for our rescued birds is to provide them with a free flight aviary. In just the third quarter of 2016, 257 birds were brought to PTWRC. The large enclosure will house multiple birds as they recover and will allow them to fly and socialize, preparing them for life in the wild. With $2,000 left to raise there are only 28 days left to donate to this campaign. Donate today to help return these birds to the wild.