CAMDEN, Australia: A Sulphur-crested cockatoo survived five bullets after being found in a Sydney neighborhood and taken to an animal hospital.
The lucky bird, named Mr. Cocky by rescuers, had been taken to the Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital in Camden while it was struggling for its life.
Vet Lorenzo Crosta said he was ‘shocked’ after he x-rayed the injured bird.
He discovered three pellets – which came from the same gun – lodged in the bird’s body, while another two – from a separate air gun – had lodged in its shoulder and head.
The shot to the head “did not seem to affect” the bird and the three to its body had not been causing it considerable discomfort, the vet said.
Dr. Crosta removed some of the pellets but left the one in the cockatoo’s shoulder that is “only partially limiting” movement.
Mr. Cocky is receiving utmost care and physiotherapy to help him fly again.
“I mean, he’s [Cockatoo is] like winning the national lottery,” Dr. Crosta said.
“He’s definitely very lucky being alive,” he added.
The bird’s recovery is expected to take several months.
Dr. John Martin from the Taronga Conservation Society said, “It is rare to encounter a bird with such injuries. Cockatoos are much loved.”
They are also “tough as nails” and “recover remarkably quickly” if injured.
“I don’t see what the fun is? I don’t understand, how can you even think about shooting an animal that is just sitting there? I think it is very unfair,” Dr. Costa exclaimed.
Harming wildlife is prohibited by the New South Wales Biodiversity Conservation Act and an individual may be fined up to $88,000 for harming the Sulphur-crested cockatoo.