Rescue Stories from the Beijing Raptor Rescue Center - #5

Wings

The following is a report from the IFAW Beijing Rescue Center. Regularly the rescue team receives calls from local villages about injured wildlife. They have many successes and so many wonderful stories, I hope to share at least one with you per week!

Clip_image031 Beijing Raptor Rescue Center took in a sparrow hawk on December 7, 2004 sent by a police officer with the Fangshan Forest Public Security Station in southwest Beijing. During a routine examination, rescue center veterinarians found that all the sparrow hawk’s wing and tail feathers had been clipped and that the bird was doing poorly psychologically. We surmised that the people who caught the sparrow hawk didn’t know how to handle it and were afraid it would fly away, so they went for the clippers. With its feathers thus cut, the sparrow hawk could not be released any time soon; it would take at least a half-year for the feathers to grow back. The medical examination also revealed a lot of other problems, such as deficient blood protein and an overly high white blood cell count. If this was a wild bird that’s probably the reason it was possible to be catch. And if it had been under human care for a long time, improper feeding was probably the cause. Sadly, the bird closed its eyes and died the next day. We are deeply grieved by such barbaric acts of ignorance!

On the way to home, I couldn’t get the wings of that sparrow hawk out of my mind, and that led me to thinking about a lot of other things. Wings to a bird are as important as hands to people. If we lose our hands, our dreams may be destroyed and our life may be substantively changed. Similarly, wings are life to a bird, if it loses its wings, it loses everything. I wrote this poem to memorialize that dead sparrow hawk:

Clip_image033    If I had a pair of wings to fly,
       In the blue, blue sky,
       In the clouds,
       Enjoying the sunshine;
   If I had a pair of wings to fly,
       To a branch,
       In a tree,
       Singing unceasingly in the forest;
   If I had a pair of wings to fly,
       Over the plains,
       To the tops of mountains,
       Accompanied by myriad flowers;
   If I had a pair of wings to fly,
       With the sky for my blanket,
       And the earth for my bed,
       Visiting all the world’s most beautiful spots;
   If you had a pair of wings to fly, where would you fly?
 
  The story of this little sparrow hawk demonstrates the importance of publicity and education telling more peoples how to treat and help wildlife appropriately. BRRC’s publicity may be only one small flame, but we hope everyone who regards life as precious can be a little flame, a flame that spreads and spreads...

The following is a report from the IFAW Beijing Rescue Center. Regularly the rescue team receives calls from local villages about injured wildlife. They have many successes and so many wonderful stories, I hope to share at least one with you per week!

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