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Patient Update: Great Blue Heron

A noteworthy patient at Calgary Wildlife this summer was a great blue heron that spent over 50 days in care.

The heron was found in Kananaskis with fishing wire wrapped around one wing. He was quickly transferred to Calgary Wildlife by a conservation officer.

Upon admittance he had extensive injury to the wing, significant bleeding, and was refusing food. It was a serious situation and his condition was not stable. Birds have extremely delicate bones and a major injury to a wing, like this one, could easily prove to be fatal.

The recovery process was very slow and it took weeks for the heron’s condition to stabilize and to begin self feeding. Following a procedure to realign the bones in the wing, he had to go through extensive physiotherapy so that his wing could heal fully.

Once he was ready to begin flying again, he was moved to our largest flight pen where he continued to heal and gain his strength back.

After 51 days in care he was ready to be released back into the wild. He was released in Kananaskis on August 11th, with the help of the conservation officer who had found him first in June.

Against all odds this patient pushed through a difficult recovery and was able to return to the wild, not all animals in this situation would be so fortunate.

If you are fishing or engaging in other outdoor activities it is imperative to follow the ‘leave no trace’ rule to keep our wildlife safe and the environment clean.

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