ALL IS NOT WELL Since the beginning of March, we have received over 300 malnourished, dehydrated, and/or sick flamingo chicks and juveniles. So far, we have released almost 100 of those birds. Today, we are announcing that we will stop releasing flamingos until further notice and here is why. Too many of the released birds are dying or being returned to the rehab. And the ones being returned to the rehab are in dreadful shape. Bird B-AAC was released with 2.250 grams two weeks ago and returned this week with only 1.230 grams. So far 12 of his group have been returned. Although initial research has started into the causes for the slaughter among this year’s new generation, we do not yet have the results. We have not received the final report on the food source, although initial findings indicate that there is at least some food at the sanctuary. We have not yet heard back from the University in Utrecht regarding the samples we sent them. Therefore, starting today, we will not release any more flamingos until we know what we are dealing with. These two recent pictures of the dead ringed flamingos are just two of over 100 pictures of dead flamingos that we have from this season. And those are just the ones that are easy to find. The vast majority of the RAMSAR site is inaccessible to us, so the real number of dead flamingos is unknown. Number 011.026 was found at the Salt Pier on the 3rd of May weighing 775 grams. He was released in perfect health on the 30th of May weighing 1.855 grams. He was killed on the road in the early hours of Sunday the 9th of June. Although this is a road accident, it is significant because something motivated this bird to leave the safety of the sanctuary and follow the road north to town - again. This is behavior that a happy and healthy bird would not exhibit. Number 011.421 was found at Kite Beach on the 11th of May weighing 1.035 grams. This was the second time he came into the rehab, he had already been released once. He was re-released in perfect health on the 27th of May weighing 1.945 grams. His body was found the day before yesterday lying in sargassum grass on the border of the sanctuary. Cause of death: unknown.
When this beautiful adult flamingo was brought into the rehab it was all hands on deck. Tourists had found it tangled up in a fence close to the mangroves and it was bleeding badly from several wounds. Luckily for this stunning bird, a number of our volunteers are hospital staff, and very adapt at stitching up deep cuts. Join us in thanking two of these volunteers, Sophie and Lotte, for doing all they can to save this wonderful flamingo. With a bit of luck, she will get through the next few days without any complications. We will keep you informed of her progress!
It’s not only flamingo’s :-)
Every new patient that arrives at the rehab is carefully examined. We are able to do a lot of tests, but in most cases we try and cause the wild birds as little stress as possible. We weigh them and provided their temperature is ok, we administer some fluids to help them regain their strength. When that is done, we choose one of our 13 cages depending on the care that is needed. But not before we make sure that we can track our new arrival! And for that we use a system of multi colored tie wraps and rings that enable us to easily identify each of the almost 200 patients in our care. This pretty little fellow has been given 3 yellow tie wraps on his upper left leg. As you can see, he is a little skeptical at the moment. If all goes well, we will remove the tie wraps when we release him in a few weeks. At that point, he will receive a ring with his unique Bonaire registration number. He should live to be at least 40 years old and not be seen again. But if we do see him again, we will know exactly who he was at the rehab. 3 x yellow tie wrap LH, found wondering the streets of Belnem on the 20th of May, weighing 725 grams. Good luck pretty bird.
50 bags of food for our babies!!! Last week Elly was asked by a gentleman called Hugo Abrahamse what she needed most. The response was ‘food!’ We have almost 200 juvenile flamingos at the rehab and they eat a lot! Hugo, who works for Amsterdam’s zoo Artis, did not hesitate and personally paid for 50 large bags of flamingo pellets to be air shipped straight to our Bird Rehab. He used Zoologistics to ship it and a gentleman there, Rick van Groningen, kindly waived their handling fees and set up a Dutch fundraising page so that people in Holland can contribute to Hugo’s awesome gesture. The shipment has already arrived as you can tell from the picture of our truck. The second picture is Hugo and one of his many friends at Artis. If you would like to help him help us to return all our wonderful flamingos back to the wild, you can do so here: https://www.doneeractie.nl/feed-the-flamingoes/-36001 Thank you so much for your support!
Our fight to rescue as many young flamingoes as possible has made it onto NatGeo’s Instagram page with 108 million followers. Possitive things are happening on the research front too. More about that later! https://www.instagram.com/p/BxizF48oxcT/?igshid=6mzuq2bw2q4c
How cool is this! Inge Hupkes made us a sign that we are sure only the Wild Bird Rehab has: “Slow down, flamingo crossing!” That is an awesome gift from one of our volunteers, and one that we needed desperately. The road in front of the Mangrove Center and Rehab gets busier every day with cars and with wild flamingos. The two do not go well together, and sadly we have already had one flamingo killed by a speeding car. Soon, we will have speed bumps in front of the rehab too, but for now we have this great sign! Thank you Inge!
Look at all these wonderfull birds bathing in the sun in our large pen. A world of difference to when they came in. These birds are able to feed themselves now, and are beginning to spread their wings. They will soon be ready for release! We now have 163 baby and juvenile flamingo’s at the rehab.
A useful ‘tool’ in our Rehab