Help transfer Opal to Kaarakin
This is the story of Opal, a juvenile Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo.
I’m a wildlife carer and have been nursing her back to health since June 2015.
She was found on the ground, very weak and unable to feed herself. Lucky for Opal a member of the public noticed her and alerted my local wildlife rescue group.
I estimated Opal to be about 3 months old, just out of the nest hollow and very reliant on her parents for another 9 months. The poor little thing could hardly lift her head, sit on a perch and was incredibly skinny. After treating her with fluids and feeding her over the weekend, I took Opal to the avian vet for a full examination and she was put on a course of antibiotics. I fed her every three hours by a special syringe (crop needle) from sunrise to sunset.
After a month she had improved dramatically, had put on weight and was perching better and more alert. I was able to move her to my small aviary so she could practice climbing. However we noticed that her climbing/walking wasn’t great and X-rays revealed she had septic arthritis in her foot joints. This meant another month of anti-biotic.
Three months on (& numerous vet visits) she was on the road to recovery, her X-rays were good but she still needed to get more agile on her feet and use her claws to hold things.
I fundraised for a large flight aviary so she could do this as well as practice flying & landing. 12 months on she started to use her feet to hold things.
Unfortunately as she came into care at such a young age and was extremely sick for such a long time, she is unable to be released back into the wild. In Sydney Yellow-tailed black cockatoos rarely get rescued/come into care. We tried other rescues branches outside of Sydney with no avail. Now she is too humanised for a successful release, but not tame enough to be a pet (as wildlife carers we always try and keep our birds as wild as possible as the ultimate aim is release).
She now needs a bigger aviary as her current one (4x5meters) is not suitable to be her long-term home. The one she will be going into is 20x7meters.
Kaarakin Black cockatoo sanctuary is based just outside of Perth in Western Australia; they have invited her to live there. She will be an ambassador for her species in a huge interactive aviary with other black cockatoos. Its the perfect solution, but in order for her to go we need to microchip, DNA sex her as well as give her a thorough examination and disease check. Her vet fees will amount to approx. $900, we also have to cover flight and freight costs to get her over there and I have to fly with her to help settle her in.
WE need YOUR help!
Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre in the Perth Hills is a non-profit, non-government organisation run largely by dedicated volunteers.
They are the premier black cockatoo rehabilitation facility in Australia, admitting, rehabilitating and releasing endangered or threatened endemic black cockatoos. They also run a revegetation programme to provide future habitat for the black cockatoos, and an outreach programme to educate the community on the plight of WA’s black cockatoos and what they can do to help.
Kaarakin is largely volunteer run, with 200+ active volunteers that work hard in all areas of the site to keep the sanctuary running, clocking up over 30,000 volunteer hours per year.
About the Rewards
I have been a wildlife carer for nearly 5 years, specialising in the rehabilitation of large parrots.
I have donated 4 tail feathers that were naturally moulted out by Opal. I have set the price based on the quality of the feather. Unfortunately these can only be shipped within Australia due to quarantine restrictions.
I’m also a professional conservation photographer and have donated some of my photographic fine art prints. More details about my work here: https://www.angelarobertsonbuchanan.com/
Original news story about Opal here: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/inner-west/rare-black-cockatoo-chick-rescued-in-inner-west/news-story/00420b2f51c146fc1f1d5d803cc10c27
2015 Opal aviary fundraiser here: https://www.gofundme.com/cs5fb3bw
How The Funds Will Be Used
Breakdown of fees for thorough vet and disease check:
Faecal smear: $33
Bacterial gram stain of faecal smear $28
Chlamydia test: $130
Beak & Feather test: $290
Microchip on lifelong registry: $174
Moxidectin for Mites & worms: $20
DNA sex: $75
Freight cost for Opal (to fly from Sydney to Perth): $300
Return flight for me (Sydney to Perth): $800
Accommodation for me in Perth Fri-Mon: $500
Any additional money left over will be divided equally between Kaarakin (https://www.blackcockatoorecovery.com/) & Inner West WIRES (http://www.wires.org.au/branch/sydneyinnerwest), both not for profit wildlife rescue organisations where the money will go towards vet fees and food.
We would like to raise at least $900 in the first few weeks, so we can pay for her vet fees. Some results take a few weeks to come back.
While we are waiting for her results we hope to raise the rest of the amount. We would love to move her by September 2017.
The challenge will be if it takes longer than anticipated to raise the funds.