Friday, March 12, 2010

Something's a FOWL in the Wildlife Clinic!

... waterfowl that is! The Wildlife Clinic's waterfowl collection started back just before Valentine's Day when a mallard duck was presented to us with a broken wing. His left humerus was completely broken and a piece of it was bent in the wrong direction! Our ducky valentine underwent surgery and, as you can see in the picture to the left, he has an external fixator holding everything in place while his wing heals. It is predicted that he will not be able to fly once the bone heals, but there is a happy ending awaiting this duck- he has been placed on a farm where he can swim all day in the pond and be adored by visiting children. Next added to our collection were two mute swans. They arrived almost a week apart but both presented as weak, lethargic and dehydrated. The first swan was released earlier this week. The second is still with us, being diligently attended to by his team. To the right, he is pictured surrounded by a group of students who are determinedly working to keep him feeling good. The final waterfowl in our current collection is a lesser snow goose, pictured below. He hurt his wing in the process of migrating up to the Arctic and he is now waiting, impatiently, for his wing to mend so he can continue his long journey. Snow geese are not something we see frequently in the wildlife clinic, but that does not mean they are an uncommon sight in our area! In as early as October you can see flocks of them heading south for the winter. They go as far south as Central America and then, in February, you can see them heading back up north toward the Arctic. We wish our goose a fast recovery and a safe journey home!

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