Helping wildlife with sometimes horrific injuries comes with the territory of being a volunteer wildlife carer, but nothing had prepared Kellie Vincent for the call-out she got on Thursday.
Answering a call from Goldfields Native Animal Carers to collect an injured bird from the bus stop at Kalgoorlie Health Campus, Mrs Vincent found a distressed bird of prey with a metal pole through its body.
The bird was alert but obviously frightened, and being picked on by other birds when it tried to fly away, but ended up in traffic on Piccadilly Street.
“He could fly, but he couldn’t get a lot of height because of the length of the pole,” she said.
“I happened to have a blanket in my car, so I went and grabbed that and threw it over it, picked it up and drove it to the vet.”
I was a bit flustered, I won’t deny it, I just couldn’t believe it was still alive, still alert and still trying to fly
“It was completely impaled by this pole and must have been in so much pain.”
Examined at the Animal Hospital Kalgoorlie, it was decided to euthanise the bird, as removing the pole would ultimately kill it.
Mrs Vincent said while no one was certain what had happened to the bird, she was inclined to rule out malicious behaviour or cruelty, believing the bird may have swooped in with too much speed onto a TV aerial and impaled itself.
“It definitely looks like a pole from a TV antenna so we believe it might have just come out of the sky too fast when it happened,” she said.
If it was an arrow or something like that we might be thinking something malicious, but being a TV antenna it was likely self-inflicted
It was a busy day for the hospital team, who also treated a wound on the tail of a monitor lizard.
Anyone who finds an injured or abandoned native animal should contact Goldfields Native Animal Carers on Facebook or phone Wildcare on 9474 9055.