A 12-week-old Green Cheeked Conure parakeet who had its wings trimmed too deeply, resulting in it being unable to fly, got a second chance after an Australian veterinarian gave it prosthetic wings.
According to a Facebook post by The Unusual Pet Vets- a veterinary hospital based in multiple Australian cities – the parakeet named Wei Wei was badly injured after it repeatedly fell to the ground due to its deeply trimmed feathers.
“The owner advised us that Wei Wei couldn’t fly at all and was falling to the ground when she attempted to fly,” the post further read.
Dr Catherine Apuli, who performed the imping procedure in which she placed new feathers into the parakeet’s wing to enable her to fly again. The procedure was performed to protect Wei Wei from falls and injury.
Explaining the procedure, Dr Apuli told Daily Mail: “The base of the feather was cut to allow the entry of a wooden toothpick, where it is secured in place with glue”
The bird was then placed under a light anaesthetic and the feathers were placed correctly, she said. The feathers used in the procedure had been donated earlier to the hospital’s feather bank.
The hospital said that Wei Wei would grow new wing feathers of her own again and the prosthetic ones would fall out.
The Facebook post about the procedure got over 30,000 likes, and over 1000 comments. Many praised the veterinarian for giving Wei Wei a new chance at flight:
What is wing clipping?
Wing clipping is carried out to protect pet birds from flying onto ceiling fans and windows. But the procedure is highly controversial as some claim the procedure does not make the birds any safer than those with full-grown wings.
Explaining the consequences of regular wing clipping, the Unusual Pets Vets said that birds undergoing the procedure are likely to have “crash landings” which could lead to injuries. They also said, “the aim of clipping your bird’s wings should always be to clip as little feathers as possible”.
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