A Whistling Kite’s Surgery Sees Him Soaring High Again

Animals Rescue Wildlife Wildlife ER Posted Feb 15, 2023
The rare Whistling kite presented to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital after he was spotted with a leg injury causing him distress.

RSPCA leaf cutter and koala carer, Trudi was checking on a recently released koala in Esk when she discovered the injured raptor. He was brought to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital in Brisbane for further assessment.

RSPCA Vet Karina assessed the bird and found that he was not weight bearing on his leg. X-rays confirmed that his leg had a fracture, and due to the extent of the damage, could only be repaired by undergoing surgery.

You can watch the rescue, treatment and release of this raptor visitor on Wildlife ER.

With Karina’s 20 years of experience working with wildlife, and the support of RSPCA Vet nurses, the difficult procedure was a success. But the kite wasn’t out of the woods yet, needing time to heal and round-the-clock monitoring for several weeks.

With the bird’s progress looking promising, he was transferred to our Eumundi Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to regain flight fitness. He would spend another four weeks spreading his wings before he finally got the chance to go home.

When the big day of release arrived, RSPCA Vet Karina made sure she was there to see firsthand what all her hard work is for.

“To be here today is actually very special.”

“You kind of get to know their personalities,” explains Karina.

Also there to watch the Whistling kite’s return home was a film crew. The camera crew and director of TV show, Wildlife ER, were excited to capture their first release of a bird of prey.

Karina carried the kite’s enclosure to the shoreline over Lake Wivenhoe and opened the door. Without hesitation the kite walked out and soared into the air over the water.

“The release went really well,” recounts Karina.

“He did a few laps around us to say goodbye.” 

You can watch Wildlife ER on SBS Australia from February 8 at 7:30pm and SBS On Demand - enjoy watching our team go above and beyond with animal rescues, wildlife receiving treatment at our hospital, the rehabilitation journey, and wildlife being released back into the wild.

Peter Wilson
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