Friday, March 30, 2007

A Sad Tern of Events (update)

After today's session of the I SPY TREES (the latest episode in the environmental video project I'm doing with children), I went over to Detta's house to check up on the tern I found the other day. I was dropping one of the little girls home, so she came with me to meet the tern.

Detta had told me that the bird was fighting to keep alive and that she felt it was battling poison. Initial tests had been done to find out what the problem might be: Avian Ifluenza tests were negative; X-rays showed no injuries.

When I saw the tern, she was lying on a heating pad in a cage, her beautiful long wings spread out at her sides. She was listless and looked smaller than when I had picked her up. She had been eating sardines before today, but as of today, was not taking anything in. I held her in my hands and noted that she was lighter, barely able to hold her neck up. Her body felt like it was almost empty of a spirit and the expression in her eyes indicated valiant efforts to remain alive. As she lay in my hand, a greenish liquid started to leak steadily from her beak (vomit).

We placed her back on the heating pad where she beat up for a while, propelling herself to the side of the cage, where her long beak could have gotten stuck in one of the holes (danger of neck breakage). Detta repositioned her to avoid this and, as she did so, the bird arched her neck forward, as if in in one last effort, and died ... within minutes of us arriving to check up on her.

Detta will send the little body for a necropsy. She said that this bird had held on long, compared to other sea birds that have been brought in to her ... all of which had similar symptoms (emaciation due to dehydration leading to death) and all of which turned out to have chronic liver damage (due to toxins). These toxins are undoubtedly industrial!

To those who are carelessly pumping industrial waste into our waters: Is this what you call 'development'? Is this what you favour so that your pockets can be fat with money?

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Blogger Webgrl said...

:( this is so incredibly sad. I'm sorry the little birdie died but at least little birdie is free of pain. The way in which this bird died is just BRUTAL, HORRIBLE and completely unacceptable :(
I remember what the lady at yoga said about birds drinking the sea water and so many things going wrong with them because of it. Its frustrating to feel helpless...

8:40 AM  

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