We left with a vulture who needed to have a wing amputated. Dropped him off at vet 1 (in private practice at South Africa’s only veterinary school), then drove 3 hours to pick up a vulture with a broken wing and a “brain damaged” martial eagle that had been hit by a car. The latter bird ended up being a snake eagle (which probably explains his behavioral issues–martials are fierce and aggressive, snake eagles are extremely passive around and afraid of people). We dropped the eagle off back at Vulpro and picked up broken leg vulture 2 from last week and took her and the new broken wing back to vet 2.

Right away the vet had doubts about the sweet broken leg bird. She was wheezing a lot more, had not gained much strength, and the X-rays showed infection in her lungs. She was not well enough for the leg surgery, and so she was euthanized.

The broken wing was successfully amputated, but had more infection inside the bone than we originally saw–birds have hollow bones, and mud was caked in at the exposed break. It took the doctor awhile to clean out the dead tissue. The bird’s breathing stopped momentarily during the hour-plus surgery, but started again after a bit of manual oxygen.

After surgery, he was very slow to revive. It took over an hour, IV fluids, and some TLC before he woke up. Our fingers are crossed that he’ll be good in the morning.

Some notes:
Several widow birds dancing over the grass.
A chameleon saved from the middle of the road.
A caracal at the vet’s that mewled like a house cat (and growled like a cougar).
Also at the vet’s, a tiny nyala fawn that I wanted to put in my purse.
The McDs chicken ranch tastes alright–except the ranch is totally weird.

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