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Home > News & Events > Other Announcements > MAARS Turns 13 - Join the 2011 Flock Challenge! > Ravi: The Blue Fighting Miracle

Ravi: The Blue Fighting Miracle

by Jamie McCarthy, Volunteer Director

Two years ago Ravi, a bright, baby-blue Indian Ringneck and flock member since 2003, was playing with his flock mates. He especially liked to follow Ed, a Yellow-crowned Amazon and Pickles, a Blue-crowned Conure as they visited different bird rooms. They also liked to play chase and hide-and-seek under enclosures.

During one of their play sessions Ravi was injured. The Manager on site found him struggling to stand up. Although there were no obvious wound, it was clear that something was wrong.

Ravi was quickly taken to the vet for x-rays and closer observation. When the x-rays came back the news was devastating. There was a clear injury, a gouge in his spinal cord. His legs were not working and his feet were frozen closed. We feared Ravi may be permanently paralyzed.

We consulted with vets all over the country and were given the same grim diagnosis: the likelihood was the paralysis was permanent and we needed to assess his quality of life.

We brought Ravi back to the flock to figure out what our next steps would be. If he couldn’t perch or walk, what kind of life could we provide?

Of course, Ravi would supply the answer.

When he saw his enclosure he was determined to head inside and he started climbing around with his beak. We looked at each other and at him in amazement. He seemed completely unperturbed that his legs and feet were not working as they had been. We watched as he climbed up to his food dish and began eating. He looked back at all of us watching him and squawked as if to say, “What are you looking at?”

Over the next few days we carefully observed how he moved and we monitored his feet for sores. We outfitted his enclosure with memory foam, platforms and comfy perches.

Ravi continued to play with toys, eat and climb around, and fly in and out of his house to visit his Cockatiel friends. Ravi never spent a minute feeling sorry for himself. He just kept at the daily routine of his life and doing the things he enjoyed. It was an incredible lesson for all the humans in the flock and we were determined to flight with him as long as he wanted to do so.

We began a regimen of physical therapy, slowing opening and massaging his feet and rubbing his legs from the hips down.

Approximately 4 months after his injury, Ravi defied all the experts and regained use of his legs and feet. The MAARS volunteers provided love and support as he fought his way back.

Today Ravi lives in our small bird room with Cockatiels, Budgies and Love Birds and often visits the birds in the Conure room. His favorite treats are nutriberries and almonds in the shell (if they are easy to open!). He loves singing duets with the tiels and can whistle and chirp all shift.

Prior to his injury he did not have much interest in interacting with humans and he still does not step up or solicit head scratches but he does acknowledge those who cared for him when they arrive in his room. He will fly over and land close to where the volunteer is and makes sure you know he is saying hello.


Join the MAARS 2011 Flock Challenge and Help Birds like Ravi!

Such success stories are the reason MAARS Staff are exceptionally dedicated to the organization's work and are able to continue year after year, despite witnessing so much suffering, tragedy, and trauma. Birds like Ravi who demonstrate courage, resiliency, and the willingness to forgive and trust, provide us with great hope and priceless rewards.

To show your support for the work MAARS does to help birds like Ravi, join the 2011 Flock Challenge and become a MAARS Supporting Flock Member today!


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