Black stork at Lipu Center in Rome: “It had blurred feathers and hunting pellets”

Source: Lipu Wildlife Restoration Center in Rome, photo by Irene Alison

AND an unexpected guest at the Lipu wildlife restoration center in Rome. AND black stork she was hospitalized with feathers stained with a greasy substance and a hunting bullet lodged in her body.

“The change in migration routes caused by the climate crisis no longer surprises us,” explains Kodami Francesca Manzia, head of the Center -. In recent years we have seen the migration times and maps of many species vary. However, we did not expect such a special guest as him among the rarest birds to be seen, at this point it should be much further south, in Africa. This is the second black stork we have received since the birth of the Centre.”

It is a young individual: “Adults have bright red beaks and legs – explains Manzia -. However, those of the storks we hospitalized are much brighter.’

Workers are now working to treat the animal and reconstruct its history. So far it is known to have been found on channel edge in an agricultural area near Sezze in the province of Latina.

“Its plumage is smeared with an oily-like substance hydrocarbon derivatives – continues Manzia –. Even the canal in which it was found had the same smell of this liquid, we are doing all the necessary analysis to understand what it is.”

A black stork hospitalized in the Lipo center in Rome
Source: Lipu Wildlife Restoration Center in Rome, photo by Irene Alison

The stork was brought to Rome by Giuseppe Di Leto, a biologist from the Lipu oasis in the Pantanello in the Cisterna di Latina. The investigation «resulted old microfractures on the carpals with the presence of a dot – explains Manzia -. It is likely that he was shot by a hunter in the past. And that the wound, while not life-threatening, seriously weakened her and prevented her from leaving with her peers.”

So an accident with the substance that stained her feathers would follow an unfortunate encounter with a likely poacher.

“However, if she managed to survive the encounter with the hunting rifle – Manzia explains – she now has another challenge ahead of her: the fabric on her feathers is actually drunk and debilitated. It was therefore necessary to stabilize the animal before proceeding to wash the plumage.’

The good news is that the stork is now cleaned up, responding well to treatment and eating with gusto: “The road to recovery is still long, but we are optimistic» explains the manager of the Lipu center in Rome.

black stork (Ciconia nigra) is a wading bird very similar White stork (Ciconia ciconia). Unlike the other more well-known and widespread species, it has shiny black plumage on its back, neck and head, while it has the classic white plumage on its chest and belly.

In fact, they do not form large flocks like those seen with white storks during migrations. In addition, he does not like man-made areas at all. Meeting her is therefore very rare.

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