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'The few descriptions of Irkutsk had spoken of it as the Paris of Siberia'
Mrs John Clarence Lee, 1914

Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again

By Olga Gertcyk
07 October 2020

The prized bird destined to work for a rich man in the United Arab Emirates released back to wild.

A team of Irkutsk Zoo Gallery vets created feather extensions of syringe needles and glue to reconstruct both wings of the traumatised bird. Picture: Irkutsk Zoo Gallery 

A team of Irkutsk Zoo Gallery vets created feather extensions of syringe needles and glue to reconstruct both wings of the traumatised bird. 

The young saker falcon - to be sold to a rich buyer at the United Arab Emirates if not police intervention - was tied up with a rope so strongly that it lost most of the wing feathers, and would have died without urgent medical help. 

The bird was caught along with a peregrine falcon in Siberia, and was hidden inside a sofa by the poachers. 

The other bird was unharmed and got released within days of being found, but the saker falcon was unable to fly and hunt.

It went on hunger strike.

Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again
Feathers from previously hunted falcons were glued into the stub of the shaft - or races - which remained on the injured bird’s wing. Pictures: Irkutsk Zoo Gallery


‘The bird was disappearing in front of our eyes as it refused to eat and wouldn’t accept a single treat. We feared it could die’, said Liudmila Ivushkina, director of Irkutsk Zoo Gallery.

The amazing wing repair job was completed at Irkutsk Zoo with the help of ‘usual household glue’.  

Feathers from previously hunted falcons were glued into the stub of the shaft - or races - which remained on the injured bird’s wing.

‘The poachers were either inexperienced or in a hurry, but they pulled the rope so tightly that the bird was seriously injured,’ said Liudmila.

‘We tried different methods. At first we tried to connect them with minuscule nails, it didn’t work. Next we took syringe needles which we dipped into glue and stuck them inside feathers so that they acted like rods.

‘We cared for the bird for a day to see if everything.

‘Realising things looked good, we released it.’

Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again
The bird was caught along with a peregrine falcon in Siberia, and was hidden inside a sofa by the poachers. Pictures: Russian Investigative Committee


The bird was caught along with a peregrine falcon in Siberia, and was hidden inside a sofa by the poachers. 

A video showed the falcon flying low but successfully over a field before vanishing into the wild. 

The specialists say the feathers would have regrown but only after two years. 

The poachers are now detained and face up to eight years in jail.

A team of Irkutsk Zoo Gallery vets created feather extensions of syringe needles and glue to reconstruct both wings of the traumatised bird. Pictures: Irkutsk Zoo Gallery

Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again


Red Book saker falcon wounded by poachers gets wings extensions so it can fly again

Comments (2)

Please be so kind so as to incarcerate those poachers in your really nastiest prison where they can spend 8 years being stuffed in a sofa themselves - and hopefully some other really more nasty activities. Such 'people' are a real blight on humanity and those who would dish out cruelty should experience it first hand.
Shahna, S/Africa
15/10/2020 01:05
0
0
This is an excellent job you did on the feather shafting there! I know, it's not that easy to do. Great, that the bird could be released to the place where it belongs! I hope it will not get caught by poachers ever again!

Keep on the good work!
Birdman Pete, Kiel, Germany
11/10/2020 22:21
1
0
1

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