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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Animal Rescue XI: White-winged Dove

Lots of wild animals in Nicaragua suffer from casual threats such as boys with slingshots. Almost all Nicaraguan boys carry slingshots and use them whenever they see an animal within reach. This pastime kills wildlife but even more wildlife manage to escape with injuries which weaken the animals and leave them as easy prey for others. Our rangers at Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve exercise the prohibition on slingshots, but their work is not easy, because this protected area is within walking distance of thousands of people on all sides. 
wild animal rescue
This White-winged Dove suffers from an injured right wing. Photo by Pablo Somarriba.
There are many special animals, rare and endangered in our area. The White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica), however, is not one of them. It is among the more common of the birds in the Pacific region of Nicaragua. It is common in areas with sparse trees, inside cities and even in deserts. But as a wild animal, it deserves to live and die in its natural setting. And up close, it is a beautiful bird!

Zenaida asiatica
This White-winged Dove took months to recover from an injury caused by a slingshot, but it eventually  recovered and flew away. Photo by Pablo Somarriba.
Taking care of wounded wildlife is frustratingly difficult. Many animals die, without any apparent reason. We kept him almost two months at Estacion Biologica Laguna de Apoyo. This bird was accompanied by another brought to us from Masaya, but the second bird succumbed to its injuries. Sometimes, we have successes, though; this bird eventually recovered and flew away to live once again in the forest.
The White-winged Dove heals from its injuries-victim of a slingshot. Photo by Jeffrey McCrary.
The White-winged Dove was content enough in the cage, but he deserved to return to the wild, if he could. After a few months, his wing was healed enough to fly. We released him, and children of the local school watched as he flew away!

Feeding and caring for rescued wildlife is not simple, and sometimes it is costly. Would you like to volunteer or donate to our wildlife rescue project? Please write us if you would.

wildlife in Nicaragua
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