Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Henri the Kingfisher

Hello hello!

Here at Animal tracks we seem to have had quite a few feathered friends visiting us lately. Our most recent temporary guest was young Henri the kingfisher.

Henri the Kingfisher was tinyHe came into the care of Animal Tracks as yet another tiny, lost and vulnerable baby who would surely have perished left on his own. But thanks to the loving care of the team here he not only survived against all the odds but positively thrived. Everyone helped to look after him but his main carers were Abby and vet Warren. Together they ensured Henri received constant nurturing and was gradually transformed from the awkward looking chick with a huge head into the beautiful bird he has now become.

I'm told kingfishers are quite shy and seldom seen in most of the western world but here in Goa we are blessed to have several varieties living alongside human habitation. Henri is a White Throated variety and they can often be seen around here as a blue flash of colour or patiently sitting on the power lines waiting for prey that can range from insects and fish to small mammals.

Henri the Kingfisher is all grown upI'm very happy to report that Henri has just flown off into his first sunset. There could not have been a better time for him to go as now the dry landscape has been transformed by the nourishing monsoon rains into a lush tropical wetland with an abundance of food to sustain him through his transition back into the wild.

I'm so pleased to share this happy story with you and Henri's flight back to freedom.

So until next time...

Love Olive x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Egu flexes her wings before her flight to freedom

Hello hello,

It's been several weeks now since I first told you about the beautiful young sea eagle that had come to be at Animal Tracks with a broken leg and battered wing. I'm so pleased to tell you that she’s making wonderful progress.

Egu is recovering nicely at our Animal Tracks centreIt turns out that our beautiful bird is a girl and she's fondly known to us all as Egu.

The female of the species is larger than the male and Egu's grown to be absolutely huge as you can see. She's certainly a lot happier than she was at first, and if a bird could smile she'd be grinning!

Egu's broken bones are now fully healed, her feathers grown back and all that remains is to improve on her general fitness and most importantly ensure she is able to fly and make the transition back to the wild where she belongs.

Egu suffered from a broken leg and battered wingThe Animal Tracks team and especially Nikhil, the brilliant vet and orthopaedic expert who pieced this broken bird back together, are now getting her ready for release back into the wild. She needs to gain strength in order to lift off into the air and soar high with the other sea eagles that we are so lucky to have living and nesting here in Goa. I often watch them with envy as they glide and swoop overhead.

So at last lovely Egu is learning how to be an eagle. She arrived at the IAR centre as a fledgling and so probably has no airborne experience whatsoever - other than her first fall from on high and the resulting injuries that brought her to Animal Tracks.

Egu practicing her flight skillsAfter months of slow and patient recuperation it is obvious how much she loves the heat of the sun on her feathers, stretching and flexing her healed leg and gently fanning the warm air beneath her enormous wings.

Little by little she is flying short distances, but the effort soon exhausts her and she makes it known when she is ready to go back into her quarters for a rest and some fish.

But I know everyone is optimistic that before too long our magnificent bird will return to take her place in the wild, soaring high up on the thermals with her own kind. Hopefully she'll meet a mate and have her own chicks to care for... let's hope they have a more successful first flight than their mother when the time comes for them to fly the nest!

Bye for now!

Olive x

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Abandoned Ted has a rosy future ahead!

Hello again dear friends,

Here's a sad story with a happy ending - just the way we like them!

Ted was at first sad and confusedIAR Goa has a set of three "drop off" cages situated in the busy market town of Mapusa. The purpose of the cages is to give people a safe place to leave animals they can no longer care for and so prevent the suffering these poor creatures would undoubtedly endure if they were abandoned elsewhere. The IAR team collects them and brings them back to the rescue centre where everything possible is done to help them. And we resident dogs always play our part, giving them a warm welcome to reassure them that they are among friends.

Ted was one such animal left in a cage at Mapusa market. He was sad and bewildered and very frightened. He undoubtedly couldn't understand why he'd ended up there and feared what would become of him.

Ted and his new carer RoseSafely back at the rescue centre he was fed and cared for and all his physical needs were met. But, in spite of the best efforts of every two- and four-legged member of the family at Animal Tracks, Ted remained depressed and lonely. As he's not a feral dog there was no familiar place he could be returned to. He'd already been sterilised and was probably just a pet somebody decided they no longer wanted or could no longer care for. The only hope for Ted would be if a new home could be found for him where he could receive the love and the individual attention he so desperately needed.

Everyone worked hard to find Ted a home. Volunteers, vets and keepers asked all their contacts and showed photographs and at long last 'a friend of a friend' found a lady that was looking for a companion and Ted seemed to be a suitable candidate.

Ted, all smiles in his new homeRose came along to the IAR centre to visit and at first Ted seemed a little scared and wary and must have wondered once more what was going to happen to him. But, with kindness and soft words from Rose, at last I saw Ted show signs of happiness: his tail gave a hesitant wag now and then and hope appeared on his gorgeous face. They spent some time together and soon the friendship began to form and Rose decided to take Ted home with her.

So now they are beginning their lives together with all the help and guidance from IAR that all adopted animals and their owners are given. We wish Ted and Rose a bundle of happiness and are just so glad that Ted has found a kind and loving home. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

Bye for now!

Olive x