This summer is an unforgettable time for the staff at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre on Vancouver Island, Canada as they have the chance to host a really special guest: a juvenile bird that has been dubbed the “sacred white raven”. The little critter was found on the ground in the Oceanside area in May and was brought to the center by a kind citizen.
It’s such a pity that the poor raven was in really bad shape back then. It was malnourished, Iɴᴊᴜʀᴇᴅ, and unsurprisingly unable to fly. The juvenile bird is not able to eat on his own and is currently in an intensive care unit so it has space to recover.
Others have been seen in the area over the years, but they are very rare.
“So it’s actually a leucistic raven,” Derek Downes, an animal care technician at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre said. “It does have a little bit of melanin, it’s not a true ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ, which lacks all melanin, they do have a little bit of melanin and some, to varying degrees. So, typically in the past, those that have been seen have been stark, stark, white.”
Unfortunately, the lack of melanin severely affects the health of leucistic birds, especially their immune systems. They usually have a shorter lifespan than their counterparts. But it is hoped that the presence of grey in his wing means it has a higher level of melanin than other white ravens and therefore a better chance of sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ.
The bird is currently being force-fed by Mr Downes’ team because it refuses to eat. They also gave it a plenty of antibiotics and necessary supplements to help boost the bird’s immune system and able to ꜰɪɢʜᴛ off ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ.
“The raven is progressing quite well,” he said. “It has finished its second course of antibiotics and responded fantastic to them. All the ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs have cleared up at this time.” It’s a slow process, but they still hope the white raven will be strong enough to come back to its natural habitat soon.