A black-eared kite overcomes fears, flies free

A black-eared kite makes a fantastic recovery after he had been found motionless under a car in Beijing.Last October, a woman discovered a big bird motionless under her car in Beijing’s Shijingshan District. The black-eared kite was subsequently rushed to the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Beijing Raptor Rescue Centre (BRRC).

Rehabilitators thought that he might not make it. He collapsed on a thermal pad, too weak to fold his wings. They approached him many times to see if he was breathing and used an auscultator to check if his heart was even beating. He did not move his head.

For four days, there was still no sign of improvement.

Then, rehabilitators glanced into his ward and found him standing on the low perch. He noticed the keepers, quickly jumped down and hid himself in a corner.

By November, he overcame his shyness and finally decided to stand on the higher perch where we could see him.

While he was recovering, we encountered a new problem: He became strong enough to rip his bandages. In a strange environment, surrounded by huge rehabilitators, injured and tied up in bandages caused stress. He instinctively wanted to tear away the bandages.

Come December, he could fly to the highest perch, looking down on the world like a king.

BRRC decided to upgrade his living environment from a single indoor ward to a large detached house. Unfortunately, the kite refused to eat after he was moved to the new home.

We had to give him fluid therapy because he did not eat anything for two consecutive days. We even moved him back to the ward.

Then, he began to eat.

All these abnormal behaviours proved our initial suspicion that he had been illegally captured.

The kite spent nearly a whole year at BRRC, and then he was ready for his return to the wild.

Rehabilitators do one final check before his release.Finally, on a sunny day with nothing but blue skies, he was released.

Thanks to him, we feel so happy and accomplished. And a big thanks to those who have been a part of his rehabilitation.

--SZ

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