Plenty of reasons for |motorists to take care

Carnaby’s cockatoo Friday with bandage.
Carnaby’s cockatoo Friday with bandage.

The endangered Carnaby’s cockatoo was admitted two weeks ago.

She had been hit by a car in the Woodridge area and suffered a fractured left wing and multiple fractures to the right shoulder.

The vets performed surgery to pin her wing and were monitoring her progress with weekly anaesthetics and bandage changes.

Her story is not uncommon. The zoo vets treated five endangered Carnaby’s cockatoos recently for broken wings, broken legs and other injuries associated with car strikes.

‘Thankfully Friday is bright, eating well and proving to be a model patient,’ senior vet nurse Peta Moore said.

Unfortunately not all are as lucky. Many don’t survive the trauma.

Ms Moore has urged drivers to take care on the roads because many of the cockatoos were hit by vehicles as they fed by the roadside.

‘It is really sad to see what’s happening to these beautiful birds. There are so many factors threatening them with extinction that it is important to save as many as we can,’ she said.

‘Cockatoos can’t take off quickly when cars approach. Being large-winged birds they generally take off into the wind which can prevent them taking fast evasive action in front of cars.

‘The good news is that if we see these birds quickly we can often help them ” so the message to the public is that if you find an injured cockatoo please contact a registered wildlife carer quickly and don’t try to care for it at home.’

Ms Moore added that the zoo had taken birds brought in after people tried to care for them at home.

She said this could result in broken wings healed wrongly, leaving the bird unable to fly or malnourishment due to incorrect diet.

‘Once that happens the chances of survival are greatly reduced,’ she said.

When the cockatoos are on the mend, the zoo sends them to specialist carers such as Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Centre in Martin for long term rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild.

Anyone who finds an injured cockatoo should call the Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055 or take it to a wildlife rehabilitation centre or vet for assessment.

They will refer it to the zoo if high-level medical care is required.