Rescue Stories from the Beijing Raptor Rescue Center - #2

A High School Student And a Buzzard

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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!

Zhou Ziqi, a high school student who lives near People’s University in the Haidian District of Beijing, loves animals and has a particular interest in raptors. On July 29, 2006, as he was on his way to Shilihe on an errand, he came across a person selling a raptor in the pet market. The seller insisted that the bird was an eagle, but Zhou thought it was more likely a buzzard. Whatever the case, Zhou knew that both eagles and buzzards are Class 2 protected animals under Chinese law. Fearing the buzzard might be sold to someone unscrupulous, Zhou decided to buy the bird himself, and brought it home. He developed a fondness for the bird after taking care of it for more than 10 days. But as soon as he realized that it is illegal to keep raptors in captivity, he determined to send it to BRRC, where the bird would receive professional care.

After learning the full story of how Zhou acquired the bird, we praised him for his loving concern for animals but criticized him for illegally buying the raptor because making such purchases can never achieve the goal of saving wild animals. In fact, such purchases only encourage the perpetuation of this illegal trade. We suggested to Zhou that if he encounters such a situation again, he should report it to the wildlife law enforcement agency directly and immediately.

The BRRC staff confirmed Zhou’s identification of this bird as a buzzard, though not yet full-grown. Since buzzards are a raptor that winters in Beijing and generally are not seen in the area before October, most likely this juvenile was smuggled to Beijing from some other place. When it first arrived at the BRRC, the buzzard was too weak to fly over a perch of only two-meters high. A physical examination found that it was also a little anemic. Happily, after two months of care, this buzzard quickly gained weight and made good progress in improved physical strength. On August 18th, 2006, it was moved to an outdoor enclosure, a first step toward a life back in the wild.

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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