A rare white raven was rescued and given a fighting chance after being found near-death on Vancouver Island in Canada.
The raven was starving and suffering from an infection when they found it. It also had sores on its feet and couldn’t even fly.
Thankfully, wildlife rescuers with the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre stepped in to care for the rare bird and it’s slowly starting to recover.
The young raven is part of an extremely rare and small population of white ravens located on the island. White ravens in the area aren’t albino, instead, they have a genetic anomaly that depletes their color.
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According to Global News, a staff member at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, Derek Downes, shared that the white raven is actually leucistic, not albino. He said, “It does have a little bit of melanin, it’s not a true albino, which lacks all melanin.”
On the island, it’s believed the white ravens have been around for two or more decades, but their existence likely stretches back much further since white ravens are found in Native American folklore.
Speaking with Parksville Qualicum Beach News, Downes said that experiencing a white raven up close and personal was an incredible thing. He said, “This is my first time handling one. I have seen photos and videos but never actually seen one up close and been able to actually be hands on in helping and trying to help this bird survive. It’s a really magical thing.”
Derek Downes, the animal care supervisor at NIWRA, told Parksville Qualicum Beach News that just being able to see the white raven in person is an incredible thing. “This is my first time handling one. I have seen photos and videos but never actually seen one up close and been able to actually be hands on in helping and trying to help this bird survive. It’s a really magical thing.”
Unfortunately, their unique white color lowers their chances of survival. Downes shared with CBC News that white ravens generally have more brittle feathers and struggle to stay as warm in the winter.
In the wild, few white ravens survive to adulthood, and the injured white raven they rescued is no exception. The chances of its survival had it been left alone were virtually non-existent, but they’re hoping to give it a fighting chance.
The white raven is currently in intensive care and is still in critical condition. It started on a feeding tube since it wouldn’t eat by itself, but the organization was happy to report that the bird began to peck at food and successfully finished a round of antibiotics.
It’s great to see the bird is making progress, hopefully it can pull through and live a long, fulfilling life.Whizzco