NIWRC staff released a favorable Facebook update on its high-profile new admission as the bird showed marked signs of improvement.
“His body condition has improved dramatically since arriving at the center and he’s starting to eat on his own now, but unfortunately we’ve suffered setbacks in other areas,” Downs said.
He was hoping the crow, discovered two weeks ago in the Errnington area emaciated and unable to fly, would respond well to an ongoing, quality nutrition routine to help boost his immune system.
However, he warned that white crows don’t seem to cope well with accidental bacteria.
“Unfortunately, they don’t usually reach adulthood,” Downs said. “By hearsay, there was one that they saw conclusively over a year, but was not seen afterwards.”
The species known as the Oceanside Sacred White Raven appears to be the most concentrated in the world in the Oceanside area, Downs said.
He has reported sightings every two years in the Parksville-Qualicum Beach area since the 1990s, but said none have survived long term.
The leucitic raven currently being treated at Errington is not a true albino, Downs said.
Staff and volunteers at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Center rehabilitate hundreds of injured and sick animals on Vancouver Island each year, primarily birds ranging from ducklings and eagles to crows, hawks and owls.
About 20 animals unable to fend for themselves in the wild, including black bears, have been permanent residents of the refuge located just west of Parksville since 1985.
You can find information about donating or volunteering at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Center. here.
The facility is open for an additional fee to view the animals from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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