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Rare bird nursed back to health, ready for the wild

2012/05/04 20:40:16

Taipei, May 4 (CNA) A black-faced spoonbill is ready to be released into the wild next week and migrate north for the summer after recovering from injuries suffered when it was trapped on a fish farm in southern Taiwan.

The endangered bird was found trapped by nets in Qigu District in Tainan on March 25. Local fishermen freed the bird as soon as they found it and notified the Tainan City government and the Endemic Species Research Institute under the Council of Agriculture.

The institute took possession of the bird, which was tagged in South Korea and numbered "E21," and treated it immediately.

The examination revealed a fractured toe on the bird's right foot and increased stress, which is normal in wild animals when they are confined.

The institute said that after emergency surgery and over a month of rest and rehabilitation, the bird has recovered well and will be released into the wild at a salt farm in Qigu on May 8.

Black-faced spoonbills began to return to their breeding grounds farther north in Asia in March. Only a few groups of birds remain in Tainan, one of the major migration sites of the endangered migratory water bird, said institute official Tang Hsiao-yu.

(By Lin Heng-li and Nell Shen)